BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration announced the launch of the $4.6 million rapid re-employment grant program, with the first round of grant funding totaling $360,000 being awarded to six employer partner programs that will train 105 participants. The grants will support training residents who have experienced an employment interruption due to COVID-19 and help place them in high-demand job categories such as information technology and healthcare by scaling up training opportunities provided by organizations to employers.
“As Massachusetts focuses on economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we think strategically about getting people back to work and increasing our investments in programs that are successfully serving local businesses and people most affected,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “The rapid re-employment program can help thousands of people get access to high-demand jobs in the Commonwealth through workforce training and building skills to get people hired quickly.”
The rapid re-employment program is designed to help businesses develop a pipeline of workers to meet their skills needs as well as providing better lifetime earnings potential for those whose job prospects have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. These grants are funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The application process is rolling through Sept. 30 or until funds are expended.
“No economy can succeed without a high-quality workforce. This funding will help individuals and businesses accelerate a return to full employment that is more equitable and leads to more employment resiliency in Massachusetts,” Labor and Workforce Secretary Rosalin Acosta said.
One of the six partner programs is based in Western Mass.: Tech Foundry, which is being awarded $80,000 to train 20 participants. In partnership with MassHire Springfield Career Center, Tech Foundry will provide training and placement to prepare individuals impacted by COVID-19 for jobs as computer network support administrators. Trained individuals will be placed at Rediker Software, Paragus Strategic IT, Veritas Prep Charter School, and Winslow Technology Group.
“This grant program will play a key role in helping people get back to work, which is a central component of our strategy for economic recovery,” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy said. “As we continue taking steps to put this pandemic behind us, efforts that assist in matching workers with available jobs and that provide necessary training to address gaps in skills will further our goal of accelerating the Commonwealth’s recovery.”