Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) is awarding more than $200,000 in the PAsmart Apprenticeship and Next Generation Industry Partnerships grants for northeast Pennsylvania. L&I Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani announced the new investment during a tour of Keystone College in La Plume.
Governor Wolf launched PAsmart last year to increase STEM and computer science education and job training to prepare workers with the skills that growing businesses need.
“Pennsylvania employers are hiring, and to grow our economy they need more skilled workers.” said Governor Wolf. “I started PAsmart last year to close the skills gap and allow more people to get the education and training for those good jobs.
“These PAsmart grants will help to strengthen the workforce in north central Pennsylvania, which is good for everyone. The budget that I announced this week builds on the success of PAsmart so we can create the strongest workforce in the nation.”
The grants totaling $161,111 for apprenticeships and $45,000 for Next Generation Industry Partnerships will support job training in early childhood education, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing in the north east region. Apprenticeships provide hands-on opportunities for workers to learn skills while earning a paycheck. Next Generation Industry Partnerships connect employers in the same industry to provide job training.
The governor’s budget unveiled Tuesday builds on the success of PAsmart to create opportunities for Pennsylvanians from birth to retirement. The governor’s Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP) expands access to early childhood education, increases investments in schools, and partners with the private sector to build on the PAsmart initiative.
The governor is also creating the Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center to bring together government, schools and industry like never before. The departments of Community and Economic Development, Labor & Industry (L&I), and State will work with external leaders including Chamber of Business and Industry President Gene Barr, and AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale to find innovative solutions that close the skills gap.
Northern Tier Apprenticeship - A $101,111 apprenticeship grant was awarded to NTRPDC, as an approved registered apprenticeship (RA) group sponsor, to increase the number of apprentices in machinist RA programs and develop a new RA program in healthcare. Grant funds will also be used to collaborate with businesses to encourage the creation of RA programs and create education materials to promote RA program to high school students.
Keystone College Pre-Apprenticeship Network – A $60,000 pre-apprenticeship grant was awarded to provide high school students and out of school individuals ages 16 - 24 years old with a career path to receive a childcare credential in order to work in child care facilities. The program will design a curriculum, college credit coursework, and industry recognized certifications which will allow awarding credit for skills and competencies gained while serving as pre-apprentices and completing courses, seminars, workshops, and job shadowing.
Northeast PA Advanced Manufacturing Next Generation Industry Partnership – A $45,000 Next Generation Advanced Manufacturing Partnership grant was awarded to engage 13 businesses and 25 public and community partners.
To celebrate the PAsmart grants and investment in workforce development, L&I Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani toured Keystone College in La Plume today and met with administrators, instructors and students.
“Apprenticeship programs are a great example of state agencies and local businesses working together to help meet regional employment needs,” said Cipriani. “Governor Wolf wants Pennsylvania businesses to have access to a world-class workforce, and has proposed additional funding for the PAsmart initiative to further improve access to education, apprenticeships and training programs for students and workers.”
“We are extremely honored to receive this PAsmart Apprenticeship Grant from Governor Tom Wolf,” said Keystone College President Tracy L. Brundage, Ph.D. “This funding will allow Keystone College to develop and implement a curriculum which will provide high school students and young adults with the skills and credentials needed to pursue rewarding careers as childcare professionals. We look forward to fulfilling our role as a leading educational institution in Northeastern Pennsylvania and improving the lives of those in our community.”
MEDIA CONTACTS: Theresa Elliott, 717-787-7530
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