Lt. Gov. Murray in town to highlight importance of schools - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Lt. Gov. Murray in town to highlight importance of vocational schools

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Lt. Gov. Tim Murray was in Western Mass. Thursday to promote a partnership between a local manufacturer and Springfield's Putnam Vocational High School.

Putnam has a partnership with Smith and Wesson called the Industry Fast Track program and it bridges the gap between school and employment.

Students get training not only in a classroom but also hands-on training at Smith and Wesson, learning from people who are already on the job.

There are around 44,000 students across the state in vocational schools and Murray has mentioned in the past the importance of these programs.

The 20-week program at Putnam includes around 15 students.

This year the Patrick - Murray administration announced $5 million for the next five years will be awarded to the state's 60 vocational high schools.

It's good news not only for employers like Smith and Wesson but also the student's learning these skills.

"The skills the students learn here are going to transcend throughout their lives. This is just one experience they're going to get and they're going to move on, they're going to get into a manufacturing environment either at Smith and Wesson or Hoppe Manufacturing," said Rich Picard of Smith and Wesson.

"Just to be in a trade that is just ever-growing, you can go anywhere with it, it's a blessing," said Putnam student Zach Walas.

Murray says there are around 100,000 people retiring from the manufacturing field in the next several years.

The state money used to make this possible has created six pilot programs to help unemployed students through school and eventually into well-paying jobs.

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