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November 9, 2005



Governor Mitt Romney today awarded $5 million in new Workforce Training Fund grants to train over 5700 employees at 73 businesses across Massachusetts. These grants will help further job growth in the state, build a more skilled workforce and support the Commonwealth’s competitive businesses.


“A highly-skilled workforce enables our state to compete and thrive in the global economy, and these workforce training grants will help our companies stay on the cutting-edge,” Romney said during his announcement of the grants at Infinity Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, one of the 73 grant recipients.


“Businesses relocate and expand where they have access to well-trained and educated workers, and there is no better investment Massachusetts can make than to sharpen the skills of our employees,” Romney added.


Administered by the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development, the Workforce Training Fund provides businesses with matching grants to provide job-related training to incumbent employees. Since being launched seven years ago, more than $107 million has been awarded to 2,300 companies to upgrade the skills of 157,000 workers statewide.


“Infinity is a proud recipient of this Workforce Training Fund grant, and we appreciate the opportunity to help our employees continue to develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to succeed and flourish,” said Steven Holtzman, Infinity’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This is a great example of a progressive government program that directly benefits the citizen-workers of the Commonwealth and supports growth of the biotechnology industry in Massachusetts.”


Infinity Pharmaceuticals, founded in 2001, will use its $197,000 Workforce Training Fund grant to train all of the company’s 97 employees in team leadership and project management skills, and to provide customized scientific and English as a Second Language (ESL) training. The company predicted the training will lead to an increase in the number of product entries into clinical trials, new promotional opportunities for its workers as well as increased productivity.


“The Workforce Training Fund makes Massachusetts a more attractive place for all businesses,” said Jane C. Edmonds, Director of Workforce Development. “A highly skilled workforce is one of our state’s major competitive advantages, and continued investments in our employee base helps maintain this edge.”


Romney has committed to fully funding the Workforce Training Fund for $21 million for the next fiscal year, and extending the program through 2008. The Workforce Training Fund now offers employers the use of online applications and an expedited review to more quickly process grant requests of up to $50,000. Employers using the online application for requests up to $50,000 can receive decisions on their grant application within 45 days.


In addition to Infinity, the following grants were awarded today:


* 10 grants in Western Massachusetts totaling $339,866 to train 736 employees;

* 14 grants in Central Massachusetts totaling $1 million to train 1,226 employees;

* Nine grants in Northeast Massachusetts totaling $659,094 to train 677 employees;

* 29 grants in Boston area totaling $2.3 million to train 2,555 employees;

* 10 grants in Southeast Massachusetts totaling $580,000 to train 529 employees.


For more information on the Workforce Training Fund and a complete listing of grant recipients, visit www.mass.gov/wtf.



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