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Training grants to create area jobs; $2.1M distributed to firms statewide.

Byline: John J. Monahan

BOSTON - In Central Massachusetts the newest round of state workforce training grants are expected to help create 35 jobs and provide job training for 317 workers, mostly at local manufacturing companies.

Statewide, $2.1 million in grants were announced yesterday for 28 companies to teach new skills to existing employees and provide training for new employees. The program, which is administered by the state, is paid for through a surcharge on employer unemployment insurance taxes.

Richard C. Lord, president of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, said the program is "back in full operation with assured funding" after state budget changes adopted last year set the fund up as a trust, to ensure revenue from the surcharges go directly to the training grant program.

"Employers of all sizes across the state are seeking improved productivity, and these grant programs are proven resources for advancing workforce skills," Mr. Lord said of the program, which is being tapped by a variety of businesses including engineering firms, manufacturers, suppliers, trades and food suppliers around the state.

Local companies and organizations receiving funds for their training programs were:

Stellar Industries Corp. of Millbury, which will get $32,640 to train 42 employees with plans to add two new jobs.

Alden Research Laboratory of Holden, which was award $119,700 to train 78 employees and expects to create five new jobs.

Steris Isomedix Inc. of Northboro, which will use $47,000 to train 40 employees and expects to add six new jobs as a result of the training.

The Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board of Worcester, which was awarded $103,675 for a grant involving five companies that will train 115 employees and help create 12 additional jobs.

Rand-Whitney Packaging LLC of Worcester, which will get a $73,350 grant to train 42 employees. It expects to create 10 new jobs as well.

Gov. Deval L. Patrick said the grants program helps address a skills gap in the state by training workers to compete in the changing jobs market.

State Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Joanne F. Goldstein said, "We are committed to providing training to new and incumbent workers so that they develop the skill sets and expertise necessary for sustainable jobs that are in demand by Massachusetts employers. We welcome future applications from employers who recognize the value of training, at all levels, and propose training programs that enhance their business and upgrade the Massachusetts workforce."

The fiscal 2012 budget established the Workforce Training Fund as a trust fund, allowing for collection and disbursement of funds as needed by businesses, rather than on an annual appropriation cycle. The program is administered by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's Commonwealth Corporation, a quasi-public state agency.
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Title Annotation:BUSINESS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jun 6, 2012
Words:456
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