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L&I Announces New Early Childhood Educator Apprenticeship Program


Somerset, PA Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani today visited Somerset County Technology Center (SCTC), and announced a new registered non-traditional apprenticeship program for early childhood educators, in partnership with The Learning Lamp, a nonprofit organization in Johnstown.

“Pennsylvania employers want skilled workers, and schools like SCTC provide the training and instruction for skill development,” said Cipriani. “Registered apprenticeship programs are a natural partnership between career and technical centers and employers, because they combine a classroom education with the hands-on training that employers need.”
SCTC will provide training for the new registered apprenticeship program, including obtaining the Child Development Associate Credential, a widely recognized credential in early childhood education, and a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement. The program’s second and third years of training will take place at Penn Highlands Community College. The Learning Lamp will provide the program’s hands-on workplace experience. SCTC is also working to expand the program with additional industry partners.
“The apprenticeship model provides meaningful career pathways for early childhood educators allowing high quality programs to build and maintain a qualified workforce,” said Office of Child Development and Early Learning Deputy Secretary Suzann Morris. “The Office of Child Development and Early Learning support the apprenticeship model and partnership with the Department of Labor and Industry and the Pennsylvania Department of Education and congratulate Learning Lamp on their success in securing a registered apprenticeship.”
Today’s visit to SCTC also highlighted Governor Tom Wolf’s PAsmart initiative, which includes $30 million. The recently announced competitive grants will encourage partnerships with private industry throughout Pennsylvania on job training and to support science and technology education in fast growing careers. The governor also secured a $7 million increase in state funding for apprenticeships this year.
Cipriani toured SCTC’s early childhood education classroom and visited with students working with preschoolers while training to be early childhood educators. Representatives from the Learning Lamp were in attendance and discussed the new apprenticeship program to create a pipeline of skilled workers. Cipriani also visited the welding and machine technology labs and met with students working a FARO arm coordinate measuring machine, manual lathes, manual mills, and a CNC plasma cutting table to machine metals. In addition, representatives from Leiss Tool and Die, who recently partnered with SCTC to provide the related technical instruction for their tool and die registered apprenticeship program, attended to discuss their plans for adding a welding trade apprenticeship to their program.
“Local employers need a qualified workforce and boast numerous job openings for skilled workers,” said Karen N. Remick, SCTC’s Administrative Director. “By creating registered apprenticeship opportunities locally, area residents will be able to receive high-end training while working directly in industry.  These opportunities will enable employees to obtain secure jobs with family-sustaining wages.”
The Somerset County Technology Center offers 15 career and technology programs, to students from eight sending high schools in Somerset County. SCTC also offers many adult education programs, including Practical Nursing and CDL. The school opened in 1972, focusing on providing a quality career and technical education to Somerset County high school students and adults. The Technology Center is committed to keeping pace with changes in technology and employment challenges, adjusting their curriculum to meet those demands.
Apprenticeship programs are registered through L&I’s Apprenticeship and Training Office. The Wolf administration created the ATO in 2016. Since then, the office has registered 119 new sponsors and 166 new apprenticeship programs or occupations, bringing the total number of registered apprentices to 16,286 statewide.
For more information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit PAsmart.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Lindsay Bracale and Penny Ickes, L&I, 717-787-7530 or
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