Pressley Advances $2.3 Million in Federal Funding for Boston Community Projects

July 22, 2021
Press Release
Funds to Support Tuition-Free Community College, Substance Use Disorder Recovery Support, Green Jobs Certification Program

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) announced the successful inclusion of $2.3 million in federal community project funding for Boston in the FY2022 House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor HHS) Appropriations bill.

If secured, funding would be awarded to the City of Boston to expand its Tuition-Free Community College program; to the Dimock Center to increase substance use treatment and programming; and to the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology to launch a new green jobs Building Automation System certification program.

Rep. Pressley has been advocating for these projects through Congress’ new Community Project Funding initiative.

“COVID-19 has exposed and exacerbated many of the stark inequities facing Boston residents, and our health and education systems are no exception,” said Rep. Pressley. “Funding these three projects, which aim to support our students, people recovering from substance use disorder, and those seeking good-paying careers in green jobs, will go a long way toward building a just and equitable recovery for everyone who calls Boston home. I thank Mayor Janey, Dr. Anderson, Dr. Francis, and all of our advocates for their close partnership in moving these projects forward, and I’ll keep fighting until the ink is dry on the President’s signature.”

“I am proud to stand alongside Congresswoman Pressley, and am grateful for her continued advocacy on behalf of the residents of Boston,” said Mayor Kim Janey. “Investments in tuition-free community college, treatment for substance use disorders, and new green jobs training will create pipelines of opportunity for the communities hardest hit by COVID-19. This allocation of $2.3 million of federal funding is an opportunity to strengthen Boston’s continued recovery from the pandemic and address the inequities that contribute to gaps in health, education, and employment outcomes.”

“Thank you Congresswoman Pressley for your unrelenting commitment to improving the lives of those living in District 7,” said Dr. Charles Anderson, President and CEO of the Dimock Center. “The number of drug related deaths in the US in 2020 was the highest number ever reported in a single year. In Massachusetts the opioid related death rate increased by 69% among black men. Providing services in communities which are being hardest hit is important to addressing this issue and moving us closer to achieving health equity. This funding will allow the Dimock Center to provide access to vital clinical stabilization services (CSS) after acute detox on the same campus. This expansion of our evidence-based system of care is critical to supporting recovery and saving lives!”

“We share Congresswoman Pressley’s belief that the continued growth of the clean tech industry can be leveraged to create economic opportunity in District-7,” said Dr. Aisha Francis, President and CEO, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology. “Funding for technical training in future-focused fields at BFIT assures that our students – 74% of whom are people of color and almost 60% are the first generation to attend college – are well qualified for high-demand, good paying green jobs. We thank Congresswoman Pressley for her advocacy and urge Congress to support this critical initiative.”

If passed, the following projects will receive funding:

  • Boston Tuition Free Community College Program Expansion - $1,000,000
    Project Sponsor: City of Boston, Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development
    Location: Boston, MA
    Description: The funding would be used for covering tuition and related expenses for low and moderate-income students to complete certain certificate programs at one of six partner community and technical colleges in Greater Boston.
  • The Dimock Center – Project Access - $1,000,000
    Project Sponsor: The Dimock Center
    Location: Roxbury, MA
    Description:  The funding would provide Massachusetts residents in Roxbury and neighboring areas with increased availability of critically needed substance use disorder treatment and programming. 
  • Clean Energy Building Automation Systems Program - $300,000
    Project Sponsor: Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
    Location: Boston, MA
    Description: The funding would be used to create a new Building Automation System certificate and associate degree program, allowing students to receive the training needed to pursue good-paying jobs in the clean energy sector.

These three projects are among the ten Community Project Funding requests submitted by Rep. Pressley to the Appropriations Committee. Earlier this week, Rep. Pressley announced the advancement of federal funding for community projects in Randolph and Milton, as well as Cambridge. Information on the status of additional requests will be announced in the coming days.

The inclusion of this funding in the FY22 House Labor HHS bill is the first step in the funding process, and Rep. Pressley will continue fighting for this funding as the bill moves to consideration on the House Floor.

To read more about Rep. Pressley’s Community Project Funding requests, click here. To watch her testify before the Appropriations Committee in support of her requests, click here.

Rep. Pressley was also successful in securing over $18.5 million in federal funding in the House Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill, the INVEST in America Act, which will support several projects championed by the Congresswoman through the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee. The INVEST in America Act passed the House earlier this month, and included several other priorities championed by Rep. Pressley.

 

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