This region is one of the most lucrative places in the country to be a veterinary technician, but it’s also an area with no vet tech school. Massasoit Community College will change that this year, thanks in part to a $442,000 grant from the state.
On Monday at the State House, Sen. Marc Pacheco (D - Taunton) announced a $442,517 Skills Capital Grant to outfit a vet tech clinical instructional facility on the Massasoit Community College Canton campus. The facility broke ground on construction in June.
Citing the “utmost importance” of workforce training for Southeastern Massachusetts and the state as a whole, Pacheco said the vet tech program will help students interested in STEM and Animal Science get the practical education they need to succeed in these fields.
“We must ensure that individuals can develop and improve skills to meet the needs of our Commonwealth’s economy,” Pacheco said. “The success and vibrancy of our communities depend on it.”
The new vet tech program, which last fall began enrolling its first students, targets high school seniors or recent high school graduates, including students currently enrolled at Norfolk County Agricultural High School with whom the program has a dual enrollment articulation.
The program is also open to current vet techs who may be displaced without licensure, and un-employed or under-employed adults looking to make a living wage in the animal health care industry.
According to May 2015 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, vet techs in the Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton area are some of the highest-paid in the country, with an annual median wage of $46,670 compared to the national annual median wage of $33,280.
“The rapidly expanding animal health care industry has created a distinct need for Veterinary Technicians,” Massasoit President Charles Wall said Monday. “The career opportunities available to graduates of this program are varied and in-demand, and we are excited to provide training that helps address a regional need.”
There are currently five vet tech schools in Massachusetts, but none in the Southeastern part of the state.
Mount Ida College, in Newton, houses the closest vet tech program.
The instructional facility on the Massasoit Canton campus will include a surgical suite and a digital radiology room, and it will house dogs and cats for students to gain hands-on training of surgical prep, imaging, examinations, and animal care.
The facility will cost $1.4 million in total, according to a Monday press release from Pacheco’s office.
The grant will help outfit the space with state-of-the-art equipment, and will allow the school to provide additional training opportunities, a spokesperson from Massasoit said.
The facility will be managed by a certified veterinary technician, who will work closely with our assistant professor of veterinary medicine, who is a licensed veterinarian. Students in the program and part time animal care attendants will help provide coverage at the facility as well.
Grant gives Massasoit region's first vet tech school - The Enterprise