New Bedford High School has been awarded a $250,000 grant through the Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant Program, the Baker-Polito Administration announced recently. The grant funding will be used to construct a state-of-the-art Marine Technology Laboratory to support New Bedford High School’s Career Vocational Technical Education programming in maritime industry skill training. The new facilities will prepare students for careers in marine and maritime industries, according to a school department press release.
The NBHS Marine Technology Laboratory will be outfitted with welding training equipment, virtual welding and diesel engine training equipment. To date, New Bedford High School has been awarded $650,000 in Skills Capital Grants since 2019. Previous awards include $125,000 for the school’s finance lab and $275,000 for robotics logistics equipment.
In announcing the awards, Governor Charlie Baker said, “At a critical time in our Commonwealth, these Skills Capital Grants will increase flexibility and support for schools and educational institutions to launch new programs and help more students develop important technical skills and prepare them for high-demand industries.”
Superintendent Thomas Anderson stated, “We commend NBHS staff for their work on this project, which has resulted in the award of this competitive grant. It will increase the high school’s capabilities in preparing students for an expanding range of careers and post-secondary educational opportunities. Thanks, too, for the support of our partners, including the Community Boating Center, New Bedford Port Authority, Quinn Fisheries/East Coast Fabrication and MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board.”
New Bedford High School’s Marine Technology Lab, which will include training systems connected to vessel construction and diesel engine technology, will support career pathway development for students interested maritime industry. The new laboratory and equipment will address the training requirements of the maritime industry sector. Also known as the “Blue Economy”, this sector is identified as an emerging growth career area by the MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board’s regional labor market blueprint.
“We are delighted to receive this third Skills Capital Grant Award to support the expansion of our Career Vocational Technical Education program, and grateful for Governor Baker’s continued support for NBHS”, said Bernadette Coelho, headmaster of New Bedford High School. “As the City of New Bedford has a rich history in the marine industry, it is only appropriate that NBHS serves as a career training center for new opportunities in the field”.
The planned marine technology lab compliments New Bedford High School’s growth in career technical education, as it has committed to fostering new vocational programming and supplementing its existing technical training offerings. The high school has offered marine construction programs in partnership with the Community Boating Center in New Bedford and plans to expand maritime offerings as a result of the new equipment.
“Our career technical students will be well positioned to obtain maritime industry careers with the training they will receive in this advanced technical laboratory”, said Christopher Cummings, manager of New Bedford High School’s Career Vocational Technical Education program, who noted that NBHS will engage its existing maritime industry partners and MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board to implement the new laboratory. “It is our goal to maximize the opportunities in the emerging Blue Economy by being the flagship training center for marine careers.”
New Bedford High School offers a broad range of Career Vocational Technical Education programming and is affiliated with the National Academy Foundation. In addition to marine programs, the school offers career pathway programs in Instructional Technology, Digital Media, Health Sciences, Engineering, Early Childhood Education, Criminal Justice, Finance, Business Technology, and Hospitality.