Mount Pleasant, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak today toured the Westmoreland County Community College's Advanced Technology Center (ATC) and highlighted Governor Tom Wolf's ongoing commitment to expanding job training opportunities and career and technical education for students and adults through the proposed Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP).
"Pennsylvania's economic future depends on a well-educated and highly-trained workforce," said Oleksiak. "Westmoreland County Community College's Advanced Technology Center provides students and adult learners with the STEM education and hands-on job training on industry grade equipment they need to succeed in a 21st century economy."
Oleksiak toured some of Westmoreland County Community College ATC's job training programs including welding and robotic technology. He also toured the additive manufacturing/Tronix 3D lab that works with aerospace, automotive, medical and electronics industries to produce high-volume 3D printed end-use parts and prototyping services.
Oleksiak said Governor Wolf's SWEAP plan builds on last year's successful launch of PAsmart to create a more qualified and highly-skilled workforce. The proposed PAsmart funding includes:
- $20 million to expand computer science and STEM education;
- $7 million to expand apprenticeships;
- $3 million to expand job training through Next Generation Industry Partnerships;
- $6 million to expand adult career and technical education programs;
- $4 million to expand Manufacturing to Career Training Grants.
Other SWEAP components would enable more children to attend high-quality child care; ensure kids are in school age 6 and stay until age 18; modernize the minimum teacher salary to help address a teacher shortage; expand opportunities for teachers to visit local employers and bring the experience back to the classroom, and increase job training for low-income parents.
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 to work, skills gaps, and worker shortages in Pennsylvania.
Westmoreland County Community College offers a high quality, affordable and convenient education that prepares graduates to enter the workforce or continue their education by transferring to four-year institutions. The ATC offers state-of-the-art labs and classrooms for a variety of careers in manufacturing and other technically-oriented areas. The 73,500-square-foot facility, in the former Sony plant, features technology equipped classrooms, specialized labs for hands-on training, and open, flexible instructional space that allows for collaborative learning.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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