Gov. Wolf’s PAsmart initiative is an innovative $30 million workforce investment to grow the economy
Meadville, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Deputy Secretary Eileen Cipriani today visited the Crawford County Career and Technical Center in Meadville. The tour highlighted Gov. Tom Wolf’s PAsmart initiative to prepare students with the education they need to obtain good, middle-class jobs and to demonstrate how the school works with local employers to ensure students have the skills they need to succeed in the job market.
“Not everyone wants to go to a four-year college, but every worker needs real-world skills for in-demand, 21st century jobs,” said Cipriani. “It is our goal that by 2025, 60 percent of Pennsylvanians will have some form of postsecondary education and training.
“Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative is investing in both Pennsylvania’s workforce and its businesses, to improve access for students to education, training, and career readiness programs.”
PAsmart, a first-of-its-kind $30 million investment, is a new way of thinking about job training and workforce development by providing targeted funding for education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as well as computer science and job training, so students and workers get the skills needed for middle class jobs in expanding industries.
Cipriani toured the Crawford County CTC’s job training programs including the Computer and Information Sciences, Electronics Technology, Precision Machining and Welding programs. She also spoke with a representative from Cummins, Inc. on their recently established working relationship with the school, and their apprenticeship program. The company recently donated equipment to the school.
“In our mission to strengthen Pennsylvania’s workforce through initiatives such as PAsmart, Crawford County CTC and their employer partners are providing Pennsylvania students with the opportunity to learn both the technical and soft skills that businesses need,” Cipriani added. “The employers benefit from having a pipeline of skilled, trained talent that they need to grow and thrive.”
“We are thrilled to showcase our excellent career and technical programs, and the opportunities our school provides for our students and business and industry partners. We are passionate about and believe in the power of career and technical education and the positive career pathways it affords our students,” said Crawford County CTC Director Kevin Sprong. “The CCCTC sincerely appreciates and acknowledges Deputy Secretary Cipriani's support and attention to career and technical education centers in Pennsylvania.”
The Crawford County CTC offers 17 approved vocational programs to approximately 550 students from the Crawford Central, Conneaut, and PENNCREST School Districts. The CTC is a public, shared-time, half-day career center providing two- or three-year programs. Crawford County CTC was opened in 1968 and supports the 17 secondary programs, a variety of adult avocational and vocational classes, and a fulltime, 12-month, adult Licensed Practical Nursing certificated program. The school just celebrated their 50th year.
Governor Wolf recently signed an executive order to cut red tape and improve coordination between several state agencies to more effectively deliver workforce development services to Pennsylvanians. Under the executive order, the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board (PA WDB), the governor’s private sector policy advisor, will provide recommendations on the distribution of the $30 million in PAsmart funding, which will be driven out through competitive grants. This collaboration will help to ensure the investments meet employers’ need for skilled workers and that workers are gaining the skills for good, middle-class jobs that will grow Pennsylvania’s economy.
For more information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit PAsmart.
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