Sen. Eric Lesser Tours Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative
Sen. Eric P. Lesser this week visited the new Machine Technology Training Program at the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative (LPVEC), a group of seven area school districts that offers expanded vocational-technical education programs. The training program will be supported in part by $214,000 in funding which was secured through a budget amendment filed by Sen. Lesser.
“Investing in advanced manufacturing is one of the most important things we can do to grow our economy here in Western Mass,” Sen. Lesser said. “If companies don't have access to skilled workers, they leave in search of a better talent pool. One of my top priorities is making sure we close that skills gap, and this machine tech program is a prime example of how we can do that.”
"It's a fun process," said 15-year-old Justin Wolcott of Wilbraham, who is participating in the program. "I wasn't very interested in the wood shop. I wanted to try something new and this is something new."
The funds will allow the LPVEC to buy new Haas machining equipment that will help train students in advanced-level machine technology. The program serves students in grades 9-12, representing the school districts of Agawam, East Longmeadow, Hampden-Wilbraham, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Southwick-Tolland-Granville and West Springfield.
There are 214 manufacturing companies whose principal place of business is located in school districts served by the LPVEC, creating opportunity to directly link students to job vacancies in their immediate area.
Sen. Lesser is Senate Chair of the Joint Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, which aims to inform, implement, and evaluate state policies to support the competitiveness of Massachusetts manufacturers.