Bradford, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani today announced a new registered apprenticeship program for machinists in McKean County during a tour of Zippo Manufacturing Company in Bradford. The apprenticeship will prepare workers for new jobs in the manufacturing industry in the region.
"This new program will provide apprentices with skills training for a growing industry, and will allow Zippo to develop a talent pool of highly skilled employees," said Cipriani. "Apprenticeships are a vital tool in training our future and current workforce and that is why the governor is focused on further improving access to apprenticeships and training programs for our students and workers."
Apprenticeships are part of Governor Tom Wolf's PAsmart initiative, which invests in job training and science and technology education. Governor Wolf wants Pennsylvania to have the strongest workforce in the nation. The innovative PAsmart program is investing in high-growth careers with $20 million for science and technology education, $10 million for apprenticeships and job training, and new this year, an additional $10 million for career and technical education.
In McKean County, the machinist apprenticeship program was approved by the Department of Labor & Industry's (L&I) Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO). Sponsored by Zippo, the program will provide on-the-job training and hands-on opportunities for apprentices to develop their skills on technology such as computer-controlled lathes and milling machinery to produce precision-cut metal parts. Apprentices will receive related technical instruction through Penn Foster. Zippo also currently sponsors a Tool and Die maker apprenticeship program.
"Zippo is dedicated to offering education and advancement opportunities to our employees through on-the-job training and other programs. Support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania continues to be vital in this initiative, allowing us to offer these career path options and promote from within our dedicated workforce. Zippo is committed to keeping rewarding careers in Pennsylvania," said Mark Paup, President and CEO of Zippo Manufacturing Company and W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company. "We recognize the need for vital trades and developing a skilled workforce, such as with our Tool and Die and other specialized roles. So expanding Zippo's apprenticeship programs is a perfect fit – especially with the incredible amount of internal knowledge our employees possess. We are proud to add the Machinist apprenticeship program to our company."
The Wolf Administration created the ATO in 2016. Since then, the office has registered 147 new program sponsors and 213 new apprenticeship programs or occupations, bringing the total number of registered apprentices to 16,892 statewide.
Apprenticeship programs approved by the ATO provide employer-driven training to create a more productive, highly-skilled workforce for employers and help reduce employee turnover. The program provides job seekers with increased skills, and a nationally recognized credential to support future career advancement and increased wages.
For more information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit PAsmart.
Visit ATO for more information about apprenticeship programs and the Apprenticeship and Training Office.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Lindsay Bracale or Theresa Elliott, L&I, 717-787-7530 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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