Neal Announces $680,000 for Nichols College to Launch Digital Skills Degree Program
Dudley, MA, April 7, 2023
Today, Congressman Richard E. Neal joined Nichols College President Glenn M. Sulmasy to announce a $680,000 earmark to launch a degree program in intelligent business automation, focusing on digital literacy, ethics, learning, and collaboration.
The allocation was made possible through Congressionally Direct Spending (CDS) from the Department of Education. Congressman Neal included funding for this project in the Fiscal Year 2023 spending bill that was signed into law on December 29, 2022.
“The global economy is witnessing a shift that has culminated in a reliance on advanced technology, and with that comes the need for skilled labor. Our higher education institutions are tasked with ensuring our nation’s workforce can meet the demands of our changing economy, and that is exactly what Nichols College intends to do with the funding I was able to procure,” said Congressman Neal. “By launching their intelligent business automation degree program, Nichols is giving some of the brightest minds in our region the resources that will give them an advantage upon graduation. The caliber of learning institutions in Massachusetts is second to none, and Nichols College continues to help uphold that reputation.”
“We are grateful to the Congressman and his team for their consistent support of innovative approaches to higher education,” said President Sulmasy. “The grant provided by Representative Neal is one that serves as a catalyst for enhanced approaches and uses of automation, data science, and data visualization. It ensures Nichols College remains at the forefront of intelligent process automation and continues to distinguish itself with the best experiential learning opportunities in the nation. We cannot thank him enough for his support.”
The launch of a major, minor, and general business concentration in intelligent automation at Nichols College will create a pathway for students to prepare for a career as a business analyst or automation developer. Through this program, students will acquire the skills that will make them an attractive employee across a host of industrial sectors, gaining hands-on experience by creating and solving problems with emerging technologies. This program will be launched with Open Education Resource (OER) content accessible by students and the Nichols College community at no additional cost. Included in the launch of this degree program is the procurement of vital reality equipment, which will be used as part of the hands-on learning experience.
Under guidelines issued by the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, members of Congress requested CDS funding for projects in their state for Fiscal Year 2023. CDS requests were restricted to a limited number of federal funding streams, and only state and local governments, and eligible non-profit entities, were permitted to receive CDS funding.
This project is one of fifteen CDS projects submitted by Congressman Neal, totaling over $20 million in investments throughout the First Congressional District of Massachusetts.