星期四, 3月 02, 2023

麻州長Maura Healey 要讓25歲以上州民免費上社區學院

邦克丘社區學院( Bunker Hill Community College)校長余慕潔 (Pam Eddinger)和
麻州州長 Maura Healey.。 (周菊子攝)
              (Boston Orange 周菊子波士頓綜合報導) 麻州州長奚莉 (Maura Healey) 31日早上到邦克丘 (Bunker Hill) 社區學院,向15所社區學院校長等相關人士宣佈,將撥款2000萬元,推出「麻州重新連接 (Mass Reconnect) 」計畫,讓州內所有25歲以上居民免費上社區學院。

             奚莉州長率同副州長Kim Driscoll,教育廳廳長 Patrick Tutwiler,勞工及人力發展廳廳長Lauren E. Jones、經濟廳廳長郝伊平 (Yvonne Hao) 等部門內閣首長出席。她表示,邀請一眾廳長聯袂出席,旨在強調,她們是一個團隊,一起為州民服務。

邦克丘社區學院( Bunker Hill Community College)校長余慕潔 (Pam Eddinger)歡迎
麻州州長 Maura Healey. 及一眾政府首長到校宣佈新計畫。 (周菊子攝)
                在宣佈會中,奚莉還匯報了相關預算項目,包括提早上大專院校及創新途徑,社區學院的SUCCESS基金,醫療護理工作人員培訓,AFL-CIO人力發展,職業技術學院 ,以及登記的學徒計畫等。奚莉州長,州政府內閣首長們還和校長們在宣佈會結束後,圍桌開會半個多小時,交換意見。

「麻州重新連接 (Mass Reconnect) 」是奚莉政府新推出的計畫,預算2000萬元,估計一年內可支持大約1500人進社區學院,修讀學位或取得專業證書,進而改變人生。

麻州州長 Maura Healey (中) 表示,「麻州重新連接」計畫將可幫助更多州民改善生活,
企業也能得到更多適合人才。 右為副州長Kim Driscoll,左為勞工及人力發展廳廳長
Lauren E. Jones。

麻州經濟廳廳長郝伊平 ( Yvonne Hao)。 (周菊子攝)
                    奚莉州長說明的其他相關計畫,還包括將撥款1800萬元給社區學院的「社區學院成功基金 (Community College SUCCESS fund)」,用於支持低收入家庭學生、第一代移民,少數族裔,以及殘障或同性戀等學生;1790萬元支持「職業技能學院」;比2023會計年度增加400萬元的撥款500萬元給登記學徒計畫;115萬元培訓醫療護理工作人員,以及AFL-CIO的人力發展計畫;1620萬元給「青年工作 (Youthworks)」,資助為1425歲瀕臨危險青少年辦理的暑期工作,以及人力發展訓練等。「青年工作」預期可為3600名青少年在暑假及學年間提供就業機會。

教育廳廳長Patrick Tutwiler。 (周菊子攝)
                       在麻州的15所社區學院中,邦克丘社區學院是其中最大的一所,在麻州各地共7個地點服務。校長余慕潔 (Pam Eddinger)表示,若包括部分時間上課的學生在內,該校共有學生16000多人。他們除了位於查理士城(Charlestown)的校本部之外,在波士頓華埠社區中心 (BCNC)麾下的包氏文藝中心 ( Pao Arts Center)也開班授課。


                 余慕潔指出,在波士頓華埠,以及整個麻州,有不少年輕亞裔,礙於生活壓力,投身餐飲業最基層工作,希望他們都知道麻州將有「麻州重新連接」這樣的計畫,讓他們可以在沒有經濟壓力下深造,努力爭取更好的未來。 (更新版)

Ahead of FY24 Budget Filing, Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll Announce MassReconnect, Workforce Development Investments 


CHARLESTOWN – Governor Maura T. Healey and Lieutenant Governor Kimberley Driscoll announced that their Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) budget will include funding to create the MassReconnect program, which will cover the cost of community college for all Massachusetts resident aged 25 or older without an equivalent credential. The budget’s funding, announced at Bunker Hill Community College today, also includes several other investments in education and workforce development programs, such as Early College and Innovation Pathways, the Community College SUCCESS fund, the Healthcare Worker Training and AFL-CIO Workforce Development programs, Career Technical Institutes and Registered Apprenticeship Programs. 

“Workforce shortages have impacted nearly all sectors of our economy, but we have an incredible opportunity before us to train the next generation of workers and increase opportunities for all,” said Governor Healey. “The MassReconnect program, as well as the other investments in education and workforce development that we call for in our budget, will be transformative for hundreds of thousands of our residents. More students than ever before will be able to advance or complete their educations and set themselves up for a successful career in in-demand industries like health care, engineering, advanced manufacturing and tech.” 

“Our administration is committed to providing more equitable education and career pathways, which will expand opportunity for all and strengthen our economy,” said Lieutenant Governor Driscoll. “Community colleges, vocational and technical schools, apprenticeship programs and early college all provide meaningful opportunities for students to prepare for their future careers and set themselves up for success. We’re excited to launch MassReconnect and increase investments in many of the proven programs that are already serving our residents so well.”   


The budget (H. 1) will be filed on Wednesday afternoon and includes $20 million for the creation of MassReconnect, a new program that will support Massachusetts residents who are 25 years old and older and who have not yet earned a college degree or industry credential. It would offer students last-dollar financial support to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies as well as provide funding for career and wraparound support services to encourage retention and degree-completion. 


The MassReconnect program would give more than 1.8 million residents who have a high school diploma or equivalency, many of whom are students of color, the financial flexibility to consider advancing their education without having to worry about incurring unaffordable debt. It can also help bring back students who have received some college credit but did not finish their degree. As of July 2020, nearly 696,000 Massachusetts residents had some college credit but no degree – the majority of whom are over 25. 


H.1 proposes $46.9 million for Early College and Innovation Pathways, a $14.4 million expansion over FY23. This investment will expand opportunities for high school students across the Commonwealth to explore college and career pathways before graduating high school. The Early College program under this budget would provide approximately 18,122 students in the 2023-2024 school year the opportunity to earn up to 12 college credits before graduating, and the Innovation Pathways will enroll approximately 10,194 students in coursework across priority industries including IT, engineering, healthcare, life sciences and advanced manufacturing.  


H.1 makes a number of other investments in education and workforce development programs that will help more students access the skills they need to get a job in today’s economy. These include: 

· $18 million, an increase of $4 million, for the Community College SUCCESS fund, which awards grants to community colleges to provide wraparound supports and services to improve outcomes for their most vulnerable populations, such as low-income, first-generation, minority, and disabled students and LGBTQ+ students. 

· $17.9 million to support Career Technical Institutes, which help close skills training gaps by expanding access to vocational education. 

· $5 million for Registered Apprenticeship Programs, quadrupling the investment to continue thousands of placements for registered apprentices in fiscal year 2024, building on the Governor’s proposed expansion of the apprenticeship tax credit. This is a $4 million increase from FY23. 

· $1.15 million for the Healthcare Worker Training and AFL-CIO Workforce Development programs. 

· $16.2 million for Youthworks, subsidizing wages for summer jobs for at-risk youth and facilitating career development for 14- to 25-year-olds to reduce juvenile delinquency and young adult homelessness. At this level, Youthworks anticipates connecting approximately 3,600 youth with employment during the summer and school year.