Thursday, March 02, 2017


Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates $2 Million in Workforce and STEM Grants to Educational Institutions in Greater Boston

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center capital grants will grow the innovation economy and prepare a trained workforce

Boston – March 2, 2017 - Today Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash joined Education Secretary Jim Peyser, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center President and CEO Travis McCready, Boston Chief of Education Rahn Dorsey, local elected officials, and officials from Greater Boston educational institutions, to celebrate over $2 million in capital grant funding for regional workforce development and STEM education projects. The grants, from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), advance the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to build a highly trained workforce and seed job creation in regions across Massachusetts.

Secretary Ash celebrated the regional grant awards at a ceremony at the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood. The O’Bryant is receiving more than $185,000 in MLSC grant funding, enabling the school to purchase advanced equipment to support its technology and science program, and assist students in earning internships in high-tech, engineering and life sciences.

The awards are part of a statewide grant round that is delivering a total of $39 million in MLSC capital grants to 14 research and educational institutions, and 49 middle and high schools, across Massachusetts.

“Investments in the vitality of the Massachusetts workforce are critical to ensuring long-term growth in our economy,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our ongoing efforts to deliver a high-quality STEM education to middle- and high-school students, and our focus on delivering impactful workforce training opportunities at community colleges and other institutions of higher education, will allow Massachusetts residents to access quality careers in growing fields, including robotics, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and biotechnology.”
“These capital grants from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center deepen our administration’s efforts to build vibrant regions, from Cape Ann to the Berkshires,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By training middle school and high school students on state-of-the-art STEM equipment, and creating new pipelines for workforce development and scientific breakthroughs, these awards will create new economic opportunities in Greater Boston, and help build a stronger Commonwealth.”

“Boston’s students deserve the best resources to match their potential, and these investments will go a long way towards equipping them with the tools and training needed to excel in STEM and high-tech careers,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I thank Governor Baker and his Administration for investing in Boston’s educational institutions, which in turn will increase access to high quality careers and strengthen our city’s competitive workforce.”

“One of our capital investment plan priorities is to make strategic investments in the future workforce of the Commonwealth, including STEM programs for our students,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore. “By awarding these capital grants today, the administration is once again leveraging our resources to invest in the Commonwealth’s growing biotech industry.”

“Massachusetts is building the nation’s most competitive economy by investing in workforce development, and in the infrastructure of innovation,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “By updating equipment in labs, offering professional development for our teachers, and improving the quality of STEM education for students in Boston, Chelsea, Cambridge, Everett, Malden and Medford, these awards will keep our schools competitive, and they will equip local residents with the skills needed to retain our title as the most innovative state in the nation.”

“Creating high quality career pathways for young people is vital to their future success, and economic vitality of the Commonwealth,” said Education Secretary James Peyser. “The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center capital grants help a broad array of educational institutions advance life sciences curriculum, which will enable more of our students to be prepared for careers in growing industries now and in the future.”

“The MLSC continues to make major capital investments to support education and training at academic institutions across the entire Commonwealth in order to meet the workforce needs of our state’s fastest-growing industry,” said Travis McCready, President and CEO of the MLSC. “Our capital grant will enable Biobuilder, a key partner in the MLSC’s High School Apprenticeship Challenge, to significantly enhance their capacity for workforce training, so that our students will be better prepared for career opportunities in the life sciences. Through our STEM equipment and supply grants, area high schools and middle schools will be better positioned to connect students with jobs in the fast-growing Massachusetts life sciences ecosystem. In both cases, we are excited to play a role in supporting economic growth and workforce preparedness in Greater Boston.”

Funding for the awards is drawn from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s Competitive Capital Program, and the Center’s competitive STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program.

The MLSC’s Competitive Capital Program provides grants for capital projects that support the life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts by enabling and supporting life sciences workforce development and training, research and development, commercialization and manufacturing in the Commonwealth. The program funds high-potential economic development projects by nonprofit entities that make significant contributions to the state’s life sciences ecosystem. To date, the MLSC has awarded or committed more than $405 million to support capital projects across the state.

The MLSC’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Equipment and Supplies Grant Program funds the purchase of equipment and supplies for high schools and middle schools in the Commonwealth. The program helps schools train students for life sciences careers, increase student achievement and student interest in STEM fields, and support the implementation of the state's STEM standards. The competitive program is open to vocational-technical high schools, public high schools and middle schools located in Gateway Cities, and public high schools and middle schools with economically disadvantaged student populations. To date, the STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program has awarded more than $16.3 million to 149 different schools and organizations throughout Massachusetts, and leveraged more than $1 million in matching funds from industry partners.

Greater Boston Regional 2017 MLSC Competitive Capital and STEM Equipment Awards:

BioBuilder Learning Lab, Cambridge - $500,000
The BioBuilder Learning Lab will expand its curricular offerings, expanding innovative, hands-on STEM programming to roughly 1,000 new students, as well as hundreds of secondary and post-secondary teachers and community participants.

Boston Educational Development Foundation, Inc., Boston - $222,415
The Boston Educational Development Foundation will use MLSC funding to develop and implement the Boston STEM Week collaboration between i2 Learning and the Boston Public Schools. This program will allow over 30 Boston public middle schools to take part in STEM Week, featuring hands-on curricula developed by MIT and other leading STEM organizations, while giving teachers tools to use year-round.

Brooke Charter High School, Boston - $100,000
MLSC funding will enable the Brooke Charter High School, which opened in 2016, to purchase start-up instructional equipment and supplies for courses in biology and chemistry.

Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Cambridge - $105,000
Cambridge Rindge and Latin School will establish a bio-manufacturing training program within the biotechnology program at the Ridge School of Technical Arts. Ridge’s new bio-manufacturing training program will prepare students to enter workforce readiness programs at local community colleges.

Chelsea High School, Chelsea - $108,029
Chelsea High School will boost its science department through new equipment and professional development to promote science and engineering practicing and help students develop deep proficiency in the school’s STEM curriculum.

East Boston High School, Boston - $110,000
MLSC funding will allow East Boston High School to expand its current biotechnology program, integrate engineering practices into its biology curriculum, support existing AP programming, advance school-wide science initiatives, and fund professional development for teachers. Funds will also allow collaboration with partners in higher education and industry to support student achievement and increase student summer internships and employment through the Boston Private Industry Council.

George Keverian Middle School, Everett - $59,629
MLSC funding will support George Keverian Middle School’s initiative to increase partnerships with local colleges, universities and businesses to create enriching experiences for students. Additionally, the school will use funds to support STEM curriculum that prioritizes hands-on activities and inquiry based learning.

Jeremiah E. Burke High School, Boston - $105,700
Jeremiah E. Burke High School will develop STEM career training pathways to area post-secondary institutions, including UMass Boston and Roxbury Community College.

John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, Boston - $186,420
MLSC funding will allow the O’Bryant school to modernize its technology and science program through state-of-the-art equipment and additional tools to support an advanced curriculum. Students will also gain additional exposure to high-tech engineering and life sciences internships through rigorous cross-curricular STEM programming.

Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, Boston - $110,000
MLSC funding will support Madison Park’s effort to increase student enrollment in three technology pathways: programming and web development, medical technology, and information systems service networking. Madison Park aims to triple enrollment in the three pathways by the 2019-2020 school year.

Malden High School, Malden - $26,000
Malden High School will purchase three thermocyclers, two incubators and consumables to enhance curriculum and programming in Biology classrooms, and the school’s pathology elective.

Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation, Cambridge - $95,000
MLSC grant funding will help MassBioEd seed two grant programs at participating schools across the Commonwealth. MassBioEd’s SPOT program will give at least nine high-need schools the ability to purchase new equipment to implement its biotech curricula, while its TOTE lending program will assist in the purchase of equipment to establish biotechnology programming at four schools.

Medford Vocational Technical High School, Medford - $99,516
Medford Vocational Technical High School will purchase materials and equipment necessary to establish a new automation laboratory, with a focus on automation applications and broader STEM skills in the life sciences industries.

Prospect Hill Academy Charter School, Cambridge - $21,000
Prospect Hill Academy Charter School will expand its science laboratory space and provide teachers with additional training to develop project-based curricula, enhancing students’ experience in STEM courses.

Snowden International School, Boston - $101,600
MLSC funds will allow the Snowden International School to implement significant equipment and infrastructure upgrades in their lab spaces, which have not been updated in over 20 years. Improvements will allow for enhanced focus on data comprehension and lab experiences for students in STEM courses.

TechBoston Academy High School, Boston - $105,970
TechBoston Academy High School will create a MakerSpace, allowing for cross-curriculum collaboration and career-focused academic experiences. Students will have the opportunity to learn across the fields of graphic design, biology and engineering, to develop a career-applicable skill-set.

About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is an investment agency that supports life sciences innovation, education, research and development and commercialization. The MLSC is charged with implementing a $1-billion, state-funded investment initiative. These investments create jobs and support advances that improve health and well-being. The MLSC offers the nation’s most comprehensive set of incentives and collaborative programs targeted to the life sciences ecosystem. These programs propel the growth that has made Massachusetts the global leader in life sciences. The MLSC creates new models for collaboration and partners with organizations, both public and private, around the world to promote innovation in the life sciences. Learn more at

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