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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, November 25, 1997
Contact:David Singer

Communities Receive $2.8 Million for School/Business Partnerships

Malden - Massachusetts Education Commissioner Robert V. Antonucci announced today that school-to-work grants totaling $2.8 million have been awarded to 40 public/private partnerships throughout the Commonwealth.

The state grants will give more students opportunities to learn about the world of work while still in school, and to be more adequately prepared for college and careers. Grant recipients will connect educators and employers so that students can apply their classroom knowledge to real-work experiences.

Commissioner Antonucci, Co-Chair of the Massachusetts School-to-Work initiative, said, "Students who participate in school-to-work programs will be better prepared for life after high school. For students heading to college, the school-to work experience will focus their studies, and students who are going directly to work after high school will develop important skills that will be expected of them in today's job market. These are goals of Education Reform."

Commissioner Antonucci co-chairs the initiative with Bill Spring, Vice-President of the Federal Reserve Bank.

The grant, "School-to-Work Connecting Activities," calls on participating employers to provide mentoring and instruction on the job, and to work closely with the students' teachers. Local activities may include the expansion of internships, job- shadowing, student/professional mentor relationships, and opportunities for teachers to spend time in business settings.

Robert Brown, Compliance Manager with Texas Instruments, who also serves on the nine-member executive committee, said, "In today's global economy, we're competing with companies and high-skilled employees from all over the world, including countries with education systems highly focused on career preparation. This is not only an important education initiative, this is an economic strategy for Massachusetts to maintain it's high-skilled workforce.

The grant provides a state match of one dollar for every two dollars spent by the private sector on student salaries, with the matching grant going to the Local Partnership and Regional Employment Board that provides the connecting services between the school and employer.

Local Partnerships, which include educators, employers, students, parents, and representatives from higher education, organized labor and community-based organizations, are the central coordinators for school-to-work activities. Massachusetts has 40 local partnerships covering every region in the Commonwealth, and these partnerships provide services to dozens of surrounding cities and towns. To date, the Partnerships have received 90 percent of a five-year, $33-million federal grant from the 1994 School-to-Work Opportunities Act to fund professional development and curriculum improvement activities.

The 15 Regional Employment Boards in Massachusetts, which set policy and provide resources for federal and state workforce development programs, guide the overall vision and organization of the Local Partnerships. Currently, thousands of schools and businesses are working together at unprecedented levels, improving curriculum and class instruction, providing tours and workshops in the workplace, and offering structured internships linked to classroom lessons.

Below is a list of the Local Partnerships that are receiving grants:

FY '98 Connecting Activities Grants

Regional Employment Boards (REB) teamed with the Local Partnerships in their regions. Grants went to the REB to coordiante the activity in their region. The North Coastal Local Partnership received its grant directly.
Reg'l Employment Boards
Local Partnerships
Grant Amount
Berkshires
Central, Northern, Southern
$100,000
Boston
Boston
$1,600,000
Bristol County
Attleboro, Fall River, Taunton
75,000
Brockton
Metro South
$70,000
Cape Cod & Islands
Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket
$73,000
Central Massachusetts
Greater Worcester
Blackstone Valley
Southern Worcester
$75,000
Franklin/Hampshire
Franklin, Hampshire
North Quabbin
$100,000
Greater Lowell
Greater Lowell
$25,000
Greater Lowell/
So.Essex
North Coastal

$25,000
$40,000
Greater New Bedford
Greater New Bedford
$70,000
Hampden
Chicopee/Holyoke
Greater Pioneer
Quaboag, Springfield
Westfield/Gateway
$175,000
Lower Merrimack
Greater Haverhill
Greater Lawrence
Greater Newburyport
$70,000
Metro North
Metropolitan, Mystic Valley
Northern Tier
$100,000
Metro South/West
Assabet, Blue Hills
Charles River, Minuteman
So. Middlesex, Tri-County
$200,000
South Coastal
Cranberry
$80,000
Total$2,878,000



Last Updated: November 25, 1997
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