On September 18, 2018 Massachusetts’ Blackstone Valley region celebrated the long-anticipated opening of the Blackstone Valley Education Hub (BV Ed Hub) in grand fashion.

The ambitious project, which has been in the works for nearly two decades, aims to equip area students with highly-sought-after advanced manufacturing skills to meet local industry demands.

The BV Ed Hub alliance, spearheaded by the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce’s President and CEO Jeannie Hebert, along with the BVCC and Massachusetts Central Workforce Board will bring quality technical education training to students from Quinsigamond Community College, Worcester State University, Nichols College, Ben Franklin Institute of Technology, Uxbridge High School, Northbridge High School and Grafton Job Corps.   

In addition to the generous support from local industry and educational institutions, the BV Ed Hub received close to $500,000 in funding from Governor Charlie Baker’s popular Skills Capital Grant Program which was used to renovate space in the historic Linwood Avenue mill and purchase state-of the-art digital fabrication equipment to provide students with real-world industry experience.  

On hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony was Lt. Governor Karyn Polito who praised the Blackstone Valley community for their vision and commitment. Having played a major role in the American Industrial Revolution, the Blackstone Valley’s manufacturing roots run deep and this investment in its future workforce will go far to strengthen the local economy and give students a competitive edge upon entering the workforce.

Ms. Polito spent the afternoon touring the facility and engaging in lively conversation with area educators, students and industry representatives discussing the various technologies and their applications. Topping the list of favorites was the Stratasys Continuous Build 3D printing system featuring Onshape CAD software, the Epilog Laser cutter and engraver, D.I. Wire’s CNC wire bender and the Creaform 3D scanner which the Lt. Governor experienced up-close and personal as she graciously sat and had her head scanned for a future bobble head.

Other honored guests at the packed event included: State Sen. Michael Moore, former Sen. Richard Moore, U.S. Rep. James McGovern and Bob LePageAssistant Secretary for Career Education.

The ceremony concluded with Ms. Hebert applauding AET Labs’ own Mark Lyons for his tremendous contribution to the project praising his capabilities, guidance and expertise – great job, Mark!

Check out a few social media highlights from the ribbon cutting below!

 

 

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Thrilled to see the very real impact of our #SkillsCapital grant program here at the new Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce Education Hub. This is truly a culmination of so many years of hard work by a number of people and organizations. These grants help strengthen relationships between institutions and local industry, which gives students a leg-up when they begin their careers. Our young people are receiving the training, knowledge, and experience in fields that are growing and in-demand in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts has a rich + proud history in manufacturing, and we are at a defining moment, particularly in advanced manufacturing, where processes are becoming leaner and nimbler. This new program here will help students, companies and the Commonwealth’s economy make the leap.

A post shared by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito (@massltgov) on

 

 

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