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L&I Secretary Highlights SWEAP Proposal to Expand Education and Job Training Opportunities for Southeast Pennsylvania Residents

Limerick, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak today highlighted Governor Tom Wolf's ongoing commitment to expanding job training opportunities and career and technical education for students and adult learners in southeast Pennsylvania through the proposed Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP).  

"Investing in career and technical education programs like these at Western Montgomery CTC ensures that we have a job-ready workforce to meet employers' needs," said Oleksiak. "Building the strongest workforce in the nation is a top priority of Governor Wolf's, which is why his SWEAP proposal to increase investments in STEM education and job training programs is so important. The more we can do to develop these skills across the commonwealth, the stronger our workforce and economy will be."  

Secretary Oleksiak toured some of the Western Montgomery Career and Technology Center's (CTC) job training programs, including the automotive technology, sports therapy and exercise management, and metal technology labs. He spoke with teachers and student about Governor Wolf's SWEAP budget proposal that provides opportunities for Pennsylvanians from birth to retirement.  

SWEAP builds on PAsmart launched last year. PAsmart encourages school, business and community partnerships to prepare people for the jobs of today and the future. Through PAsmart grants, the Wolf administration provided nearly $30 million to bolster STEM and computer science in schools and expand apprenticeships and job training.  

This year, the governor is proposing an additional $10 million for PAsmart to bolster career and technical education for adults as well as job training programs at companies to enhance the skills of Pennsylvania workers. 

The governor also recently created the Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center. The partnership between state government and private sector leaders will identify and address the barriers, skills gaps, and worker shortages that exist across the commonwealth.  

"It is an exciting time for students at the Western Montgomery CTC as career and technical education is on the forefront of making great changes in today's workforce," said Western Montgomery CTC Administrative Director Christopher Moritzen. "Our students have the opportunity to get specialized training, earn industry recognized certifications, and get live work experience through our Cooperative Education Program while earning a paycheck. 

"Those students that wish to further their education can also earn up to 25 articulated credits through various colleges and universities across the state. Now more than ever, the public needs to truly understand the benefits and advantages of pursuing career and technical education programs in the commonwealth." 

The Western Montgomery CTC serves the Pottsgrove, Spring Ford, and Upper Perkiomen School Districts. In addition to preparing for direct entry into the workforce, students are also prepared to enroll in college studies. Many two- and four-year institutions offer programs of study which complement the occupational and technical areas offered at Western Montgomery CTC.  

For more information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit PAsmart.  

MEDIA CONTACTS: Theresa Elliott or Penny Ickes, 717-787-7530 or                                                                        

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