SOURCE: The Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce

July 02, 2012 00:39 ET

Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce Creates Foundation Offering Workforce Training Grants to Bay State Manufacturers

Launches Fundraising Drive, Offers Insurance Savings for Donors

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Jul 2, 2012) -  The Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce has launched a pioneering foundation that will offer grants to smaller Massachusetts manufacturers providing on-the-job training for skilled positions. 

The Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce Foundation will provide workforce training grants to companies with up to 200 employees, according to Massachusetts Chamber President Debra A. Boronski. Some 119,000 jobs in Massachusetts are vacant because employers can't find skilled workers, state officials estimate.

The Massachusetts Chamber is spearheading fundraising.

"We're asking business leaders to step up and give contributions of any size to our Foundation to help assure a bright future for manufacturing here," Boronski said. 

Donations to the Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity, are tax-deductible to the full extent provided by law. Additionally, anyone who makes a donation is eligible for a 5% discount on Massachusetts personal auto insurance from Arbella Insurance. Certain conditions apply.

Daniel Burack, a prominent real estate investor and owner of the Tekoa Country Club in Westfield, was elected president of the Foundation. 

"There's little money out there for small businesses that need to train employees," he said. "A grant can make a big difference so they can give workers some extra training and the knowledge they need to work on a specific machine or process. The worker gets a well-paying job and the company can boost production."

To be eligible for a grant, employers must offer training in a skilled occupation, such as electronics, computer technology, construction, engineering or healthcare. The employer plans, prepares and administers all on-the-job training, which will typically last four weeks. All manufacturing industries are eligible. 

Burack said the program will be especially valuable for smaller companies, such as machine shops and other manufacturers, that can't afford to subsidize training. He expects the first grants will be made in 2013.

More information about the Foundation is online at http://massachusettschamberofcommerce.com/foundation/. Tax-deductible contributions may be made on the website or sent to MCCF, P.O. Box 414, East Longmeadow, MA 01028. Major credit cards are also accepted.

The Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, with offices in Boston and East Longmeadow, provides legislative advocacy, marketing, networking, educational and informational programs for businesses in the state. 

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