MARLBOROUGH – Luis G. “Lou” Lopes, the long-time Superintendent at Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School in South Easton, has been appointed to help lead efforts to expand training programs for adults in vocational technical and agricultural high schools across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Mr. Lopes’ appointment was announced by Ernest F. Houle, President of the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA). Mr. Houle serves as Superintendent-Director at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in Marlborough.
Mr. Lopes will serve as MAVA’s Technical Assistance Director for Planning and Design of Career Technical Initiative (CTI) programs. It is a new part-time position that MAVA expects to fund with state grant money.
“It’s hard to think of anyone better suited for this role,” said Mr. Houle. “Southeastern is a real leader in adult education and training, and Lou has been the catalyst for that.”
In addition, Mr. Lopes serves as an Executive Board member of the Commonwealth Corporation, which has helped distribute millions of dollars to employers, schools, and other training facilities to develop workforce development programs.
Two years ago, Governor Charles Baker launched the Career Technical Initiative (CTI) to address the persistent demand for skilled workers in the construction trades and manufacturing. The Governor’s vision was to transform vocational technical high schools into Career Technical Institutes, running multiple shifts per day to expand enrollment of high school students and adults.
The purpose of CTI is to expand training opportunities for unemployed and underemployed adult workers in in-demand industries and occupations by building capacity in “third shift” training at high schools with state-approved Chapter 74 vocational programs that align with specific labor market needs.
Southeastern was one of the first schools to receive a CTI grant in 2020. Since then, Mr. Lopes and others have worked closely with the Executive Office of Education, Mass Hire, and the Commonwealth Corporation to help strengthen the CTI program and make it easier for vocational technical schools to participate effectively.
The CTI planning process provides schools with $10,000 to plan for a CTI implementation grant, participating in activities such as connecting with partners and employers, determining internal capacity and approach, and finalizing an implementation application.
Mr. Lopes will provide technical assistance to vocational technical and agricultural high schools, share best practices, and build partnerships to support the CTI initiative. He will help MAVA schools get CTI programs started and build sustainability for long-term success.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts expects a significant increase in new funding adult education and training over the next few years.
“MAVA wants to help lead the growth of the Career Technical Initiative,“ said for MAVA Executive Director Steven C. Sharek. “With the hiring of Lou Lopes, I think MAVA schools are now well positioned to take the lead in adult training and retraining across the Commonwealth.”
Mr. Lopes has been Superintendent at Southeastern since 2007.
He earned an Education Specialist degree in Computing Technology from Nova Southeastern University, a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Bridgewater State College, and a B.S. in Computer Technology from Central New England College.
He is a graduate of Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School.
He lives in Lakeville.