Several WMass schools to benefit from a VOC grant

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Gov. Patrick’s investing in vocational high schools across the Commonwealth. 22News is working for you with how the money will be used in western Mass.

The VOC program grant is $1.3 million and part of that will go to 7 schools in western Massachusetts. Smith Vocational High School in Northampton is one of those schools.

The manufacturing department will use the $40,000 they were granted to get a new CNC machine. That will be used by manufacturing and engineering students to learn how to engrave and cut metals and other materials.

The head of the manufacturing department said his students get co-ops and then jobs at companies without having to go to college, because of the training they have at VOC school.

According to Jeff Lareau, Smith VOC Manufacturing Dept. Head, “It’s hard for schools to stay current but when we get grants for $100,000 or $40,000 its allowing us to buy equipment that’s really out in the industry and that students will really be using in the workforce.”

They hope to get the new machine sometime next fall. It takes about 6 to 8 weeks to make the machine after the grant money comes in.

Below are the schools in western Massachusetts getting some the grant money:

  1. Franklin county Regional Technical School District – Cosmetology ($4,800)
  2. Northern Berkshire Regional Vocational Technical School District – Metal Fabrication and Joining Technologies ($43,303)
  3. Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical School District – Horticulture ($21,000)
  4. Pittsfield Public Schools – Health Assisting ($12,950)
  5. Smith Vocational and Agricultural School – Manufacturing ($39,203)
  6. Springfield Public Schools – Early Childhood Education ($24,931.96)
  7. Westfield Public Schools – Programming and Web Development ($25,000)
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