Greenfield Community College’s Workforce Development is offering free training in high-demand industries thanks to grant funding provided by Governor Charlie Baker’s office.
Greenfield Community College received $735,000 from Baker’s office this week to support the creation and expansion of free workforce training programs in high-demand industries including healthcare, education and manufacturing. The funding will provide qualified learners with free training through GCC’s Workforce Development program.
“We are thrilled to receive this vital funding to support job-seekers and businesses in our community. These training dollars will make a noticeable impact on the many businesses in our community looking to expand their current workforce as well as support unemployed or underemployed individuals looking to start a new career with industry recognized credentials and skills training,” Vice President of Workforce Development Kristin Cole said.
“GCC is grateful to Governor Baker’s office and the state legislature for these vital resources. This grant will ensure that GCC can help to build a workforce ready to meet the pandemic-induced employment challenges facing Franklin and Hampshire counties,” Interim President Richard Hopper said. “This funding will enhance lives and livelihoods in Western Massachusetts at a critical moment in our history.”
The funding will be available to learners at GCC in classes including but not limited to certified nurse assistant (CNA), manufacturing, and emergency medical technician (EMT). Eligible learners will have the entire cost of their programs covered with the funding, which is available now.
The money is part of a $15 million statewide grant awarded by the Baker-Polito administration to create and expand training programs in high-demands industries across the Commonwealth. The funding was included in An Act Relative to Immediate COVID-19 Recovery Needs, which was signed by Baker in December 2021.
All 15 Massachusetts community colleges will receive $735,000 as part of the grant, with an additional $3.45 million being allocated based on local enrollment demand.
“These grants complement our administration’s ongoing work to address the skills gap by building additional training capacity at all the Commonwealth’s community colleges so people have opportunities to gain hands-on skills and knowledge in growing industries,” Baker said. “It is crucial that we provide more residents with quality training options and eliminate the gaps between what skills the Massachusetts workforce has, and what skills employers need.”
Bunker Hill Community College and the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges will jointly administer the grant program with the Executive Office of Education and in consultation with the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the regional Workforce Investment Boards.
According to Baker’s office, “The training programs will strive to help populations who have traditionally experienced higher rates of unemployment and barriers to employment identified by the Black Advisory Commission and the Latino Advisory Commission, with priority given to those who are unemployed and underemployed.”