Governor Deval Patrick today toured New England Center for Arts and Technology's (NECAT) new education and training center in Roxbury to promote the importance of expanding job training opportunities in high-demand fields.
"Investing in education and job training is the best way to prepare our young people for work and for life," said Governor Patrick. "NECAT is a successful model for growth in other states, and we are looking forward to similar great results here."
In July 2013, the Patrick Administration awarded $1.5 million to NECAT through the MassDevelopment Community Service Loan Fund program. NECAT secured 16,550 square feet of space in Roxbury's Newmarket neighborhood to establish the Culinary Arts Job Training Center and After-School Program for high school students.
NECAT's new facility features classroom space, an amphitheater, administrative offices and an updated kitchen for use in the Culinary Arts Job Training Center and After-School Program. It is located within the Boston Circle of Promise, a student and school focused strategy that looks to educational opportunities and strategies to create a sustainable change that will break the cycle of poverty and create economic self-sufficiency in a five-square mile area of Roxbury, North Dorchester, Jamaica Plain and the South End.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to show the Governor of the Commonwealth what a great resource we have here at NECAT so he and his administration can see for themselves the return-on-investment for the Boston community, and those we are seeking to serve," said Maarten Hemsley, founder of the program. "We know our students will be equally excited to know that our program and those like it are a central part of the Governor's agenda for the future."
The culinary program can accommodate up to 54 students in three classes of 18 students each. The program consists of a 22 week training program, followed by a six week internship, which is free for under-employed individuals in Boston. Once successfully completed, NECAT assists the graduates in securing employment with various businesses in the region, leveraging partnerships with local businesses.
In addition to its culinary art offerings, NECAT is developing after school and summer visual arts programming in partnership with Boston Public Schools, and will be adding a medical technology training program for adults in 2014.
"By bringing education and training opportunities to youth and adults, we ensure the next generation is equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete in the 21st century workforce," said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. "This center is a great resource for people in the Boston area and it sets an example for the rest of the Commonwealth."
"This program provides education -- which all young people need - and opportunity -- which is what they want," said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Andrea Cabral. "They will excel in a program like this and the generational value of their success is immeasurable."
"It is imperative we continue to support dynamic educational and training programs like the ones offered at NECAT," said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rachel Kaprielian. "With a wide-array of individualized training resources, NECAT provides Boston area residents with the appropriate tools necessary for success in today's diverse workforce."
"For Massachusetts to maintain its competitive advantage we must continue our work to create a highly motivated and well-prepared workforce ready to tackle the challenges of the 21st century," said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. "This center is part of a robust pipeline -- from early education to elementary and high school to higher education -- that we have built and will continue to support to ensure that our students are prepared for the jobs of the future."
NECAT is a career-directed education non-profit serving resource-limited adults and you in Boston by offering targeted job training for adults and arts programs for youth, to prepare them to obtain careers in expanding and emerging employment sectors. NECAT is the Boston affiliate of the National Center for Arts and Technology, and is the fifth replication site for the highly successful job training and arts education program developed in Pittsburgh by the Manchester Bidwell Corporation.
The MassDevelopment Community Service 501(c)(3) Loan Fund provides ﬂexible ﬁnancing to help community-based organizations expand or improve facilities.