On Thursday, February 15, 2018 Minuteman High School in Lexington, MA unveiled its highly-anticipated new Advanced Manufacturing Lab to students, members of local industry and a host of invited dignitaries including Massachusetts Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, State Representatives Kate Hogan, Denise Garlick and Jay Kaufman, State Senator Richard Ross and Assistant Secretary for Career Education Bob LePage.
The state-of-the-art facility, made possible thanks to two Massachusetts Skills Capital Grants totaling nearly $1 million, enabled Minuteman to purchase Stratasys and MakerBot 3D printers, an Epilog Laser Engraver, Creaform 3D scanner, Festo CNC lathes and milling machines along with sophisticated measuring and other highly-specialized training equipment.
“This is essential for Massachusetts,” Lt. Governor Polito said. “We’re known as the number one innovation economy in the country. You are on the cutting edge of something really amazing and our administration is committed to ensuring students are equipped with the proper tools for success.”
The Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant, founded by the Baker-Polito administration, is designed to train high school students and adults in high-wage, high-demand jobs in the advanced manufacturing field. In collaboration with the UMass Lowell School of Engineering, Minuteman will also utilize the new lab to offer after-school advanced manufacturing courses for adults.
AET Labs’ Mark Lyons, who also chairs the Advanced Manufacturing Program Advisory Committee, commenced the ceremony with a moment of silence honoring the victims and families of the Parkland, FL school tragedy before turning the mic over to Rep. Kaufman who applauded the school for creating new programs to meet a 21st-century workplace. “Minuteman has a well-deserved reputation for being ahead of the curve and stands out as a really exceptional place”, praised Rep. Kaufman.
The Lt. Governor cheerfully accepted an keepsake featuring the Minuteman logo, engraved on an Epilog Laser system, while Superintendent Bouquillon was presented with an Official Citation from the Massachusetts Legislature.
“Money does make a difference, especially in vocational education, where our students need to learn on the latest equipment, so they have the skills employers are looking for”, Dr. Bouquillon said. Thanking state officials for providing the funds to implement the Advanced Manufacturing Lab he promised Minuteman would continue applying for additional grants to support future modernization efforts.
The Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant has awarded over $38 million in grants to 124 institutions in two years, helping schools strengthen relationships with local industry and giving students a distinct advantage upon entering the workforce.