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05/10/2019

L&I Secretary Tours Mon Valley CTC, Details Governor’s SWEAP Plan to Create Most Skilled and Qualified Workforce

Charleroi, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak today toured the Mon Valley Career & Technology Center and highlighted Governor Tom Wolf's proposed Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP) The bold workforce development plan invests in Pennsylvanians from birth to retirement and includes expanding job skills training for students and adults.

"Pennsylvania has more jobs than ever before, but employers need more highly-skilled people ready for growing industries," said Oleksiak.  "Career and technology schools like Mon Valley Career & Technology Center provide students with STEM education and the hands-on technical training that employers need to grow and thrive in a 21st century economy."  

Oleksiak toured some of Mon Valley Career & Technology Center's job training programs including automotive mechanic technology, culinary arts and health occupations programs. He also toured a manufacturing workforce development program, BOTS IQ, where students get hand-on experience designing and building a robot.  

Oleksiak said the governor'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 in SWEAP 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; and
  • $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.

"We are excited about Secretary Oleksiak's visit to see the future of the workforce in the Mon Valley," said Mon Valley Career & Technology Center's Director Neal Henehan. "This visit only emphasizes the importance of career and technical education in meeting the needs of our local and regional workforce.'

"Our students implement high order problem solving to develop industry specific skills every day. This technical skill development coupled with a hard work ethic, creates a well-prepared workforce."    

Mon Valley Career & Technology Center offers students and adult learners training and real-life work experience in occupational, vocational, and technical programs. Programs also offer students an opportunity to earn advanced credits through agreements with various post-secondary institutions.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Penny Ickes or Lindsay Bracale, 717-787-7530 or dlipress@pa.gov

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