Butler, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani today visited the Butler County Area Vocational-Technical School (BCAVTS) in Butler to highlight Governor Tom Wolf’s innovative PAsmart initiative to help local employers find the skilled workers and prepare students with the hands-on training to start their career or continue their education after high school.
“I love seeing firsthand the quality programs and speaking to the exceptional students at Pennsylvania’s career and technical centers,” said Cipriani. “Governor Wolf understands the importance of CTCs in developing skilled workers across the commonwealth. That’s why he created PAsmart – to invest in the education, training, and career readiness programs that will help our workers and businesses succeed in today’s economy.”
Investing in job training for high growth careers is a priority of the Wolf Administration. In the 2018-19 state budget, Governor Wolf secured a $10 million increase for career and technical education (CTE), the first increase in a decade.
Since Governor Wolf took office, the number of CTE students earning industry-recognized credentials has increased by 32.2 percent and the number of credentials earned by students enrolled in CTE programs has increased by 28.4 percent.
Governor Wolf also championed the PAsmart initiative, which is a new and innovative way to improve coordination between state agencies, cut red tape, and invest in people and business to expand innovative job training and career education so workers get the skills they need to compete in the global economy.
During the visit Cipriani toured several job training programs, including carpentry, computer networking and security, healthcare, machine technology, and culinary arts. She visited with students in their programs to talk about the skills they are learning to get good jobs in the region, as well as the industry certifications they are working on in their fields. Last year, BCAVTS students earned 1,407 Pennsylvania Department of Education-recognized industry credentials.
“Butler County Area Vocational-Technical School sincerely appreciates Deputy Secretary Cipriani’s recognition of the importance of career and technical education in developing Pennsylvania’s future workforce,” said BCAVTS Executive Director Kurt Speicher. “We are always excited to showcase not only our programming but especially our outstanding students in action. BCAVTS understands that the quest for excellence involves all stakeholders. Our relationships with business and industry are paramount to our students’ success. Through vibrant advisory committees and highly effective employment partnerships, our local business and industry partners are providing the support BCAVTS needs to train tomorrow’s workforce today.”
BCAVTS provides 15 programs of study to 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students from seven Butler County School Districts. The programs of study at Butler County AVTS are designed to meet the needs of students as well as occupational requirements in the labor market. Courses offered prepare students of all ability levels to enter jobs in technical, skilled, and semi-skilled occupations after high school graduation or after technical school or college training.
“Pennsylvania’s businesses are growing and need skilled workers, and workers want the education and training necessary for jobs in today’s economy,” said Cipriani. “In our mission to strengthen Pennsylvania’s workforce through initiatives such as PAsmart, BCAVTS and their employer partners are providing Pennsylvania students with the opportunity to learn both the technical and soft skills that businesses need.”
To more effectively deliver workforce development services to Pennsylvanians, Governor Wolf recently signed an executive order to cut red tape and improve coordination between several state agencies. 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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