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December 14, 2017

Governor Charlie Baker has announced a new program for adult residents in Massachusetts to take classes in advanced manufacturing at 10 participating local vocational high schools.

Students will be eligible for state and federal financial aid for the program, which will run on nights and weekends.

Adults who complete the program will be eligible for college credit when they enroll at a partnering college or university. The certificate they earn from the classes will be worth college credits that can be applied toward's an associates degree.

Speaking with WGBH's Morning Edition, Baker said the program will allow students to take college level courses. 

"It puts these voc tech schools in a place to put a lot of their physical assets and their faculty to work, preparing these adults, young adults in many cases, for job opportunities that are very real and pay really well," Baker said. 

The first year of the program will focus on advanced manufacturing, but the plan is to expand to other in-demand careers, including auto technicians.

While there are more than 540,000 well-paying jobs in Massachusetts that require less than a four-year degree, according Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, since 1991 Massachusetts and New York are the only two states that have shed blue-collar and skilled-service jobs.

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