Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) was awarded a $5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, on behalf of a consortium of the 15 community colleges in Massachusetts. The consortium is one of 13 awardees nationally to receive the grant, which will fund job training for groups underrepresented in the workforce. The grant is part of the second round of the Strengthening Community Colleges Training initiative, which helps community colleges nationwide to improve their ability to address equity gaps and meet employers’ and workers’ skills development needs.
BHCC is the lead college for the consortium. The Massachusetts project will focus on the IT industry, and develop career pathways training for skill development, rapid reskilling and employment in quality jobs.
“Education and economic development are inseparable, and Community Colleges are at the vanguard of providing training, upskilling, and education to communities who are underrepresented in today’s workforce,” said BHCC President Pam Eddinger. “This grant means a pathway to better jobs for our communities and underscores the importance of the partnership between community colleges and industry to create effective programming that will train the next generation of workers.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently found that college graduates earn twice as much as those with only a high school diploma, which underscores the economic disparity faced by those without access to quality career and technical education programs and other forms of education.
“[These] funding awards will connect people – particularly those from marginalized and underrepresented communities – with the education and training they need for good-paying jobs,” said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “These grants are designed to empower community colleges to ensure their curriculum meets the needs of employers in their communities and equips workers with valuable skills.”
Bunker Hill Community College is the largest community college in Massachusetts, enrolling approximately 18,000 students annually. BHCC has two campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea, and a number of other locations throughout the Greater Boston area. BHCC is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. Sixty-five percent of the students are people of color and more than half of BHCC’s students are women. The College also enrolls nearly 600 international students who come from 94 countries and speak more than 75 languages.