It was a Wildcat Welcome for Gov. Charlie Baker

Massachusetts Governor Charlier Baker said he had never received such a welcome. As he walked into the gym and was met by 1,300 cheering students, he looked up at the stands and said, "You guys will do anything to get out of class, won't you?" He high-fived the Whittier Wildcat, played by Senior Dakota Walker, and thanked the enthusiastic crowd.

"That was the most unbelievable greeting I've ever received from anywhere I've ever been," he said.  "It's really nice of you all to come out and make some noise on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."

He was here for the ribbon cutting and opening of our newly renovated Machine Technology/Advanced Manufacturing Program. Whittier received a $495,000 state grant to purchase new machines and equipment featuring new technology to meet today's workforce standards.

 "Congratulations to Whittier," he told a crowd of area business people and elected officials who gathered in the Machine Tech shop. "This was a competitive bid. You didn't get this unless you made the case and made it in an aggressive, comprehensive, and strategic way. You folks did that.

"A big part of what made these awards happen were the recommendations and contributions from local businesses who said, 'if you help these guys with this, we will be able to incorporate their grads who come out of these programs into our workforce going forward. That's a big part of why we put this program together in the first place. I'm very thrilled for you and your students that because of this new technology will now be able to play at a much higher level ... which is a wonderful statement about the quality of the faculty that's here and the kids."