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Pennsylvania Receives National Governors Association Grant to Boost Digital Literacy

11/02/2021

PA to collaborate with five other states on strategies to close worker achievement gaps by advancing digital skill development 

Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) today announced Pennsylvania's selection among five other states for the second phase of the National Governors Association's Workforce Innovation Network (NGA WIN). The department, in partnership with multiple state agency team members, will collaborate with other recipient states to identify and implement strategies that advance digital skill development and promote more equitable economic participation among Pennsylvanians. 

"With rapid changes in technology come rapid changes in the workplace. Pennsylvania workers deserve every opportunity for success in their careers, and this collaboration with the National Governors Association will support the Wolf Administration's ongoing efforts to make digital-skills training accessible to Pennsylvanians and meaningful in their pursuit of gainful employment," L&I Secretary Jennifer Berrier said. 

To combat the effects of accelerated trends in automation and the pandemic-fueled digital transformation on workers, the NGA will award Pennsylvania up to $100,000 and provide technical assistance to ensure job seekers have the digital skills needed to participate in work, education or training. Other recipient states include Hawaii, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Rhode Island. The NGA Center will collaborate with NGA WIN advisors to deliver technical assistance and best practice resources to participating states through June 2022.   

The NGA WIN grant will further bolster the Administration's commitment to improving digital literacy. Last month, L&I announced the availability of $1.53 million in Digital Literacy and Workforce Development Grants (DLWDG) to support local programs across Pennsylvania that enhance foundational digital literacy skills for job seekers and help provide increased access to employment opportunities. Proposals are due by 4:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, 2021.

Each state NGA WIN team -- consisting of representatives from Governors' offices, workforce development agencies and state workforce boards, and other state agencies -- will work collaboratively toward a state vision for closing digital equity and workforce achievement gaps. States will leverage tools such as the Digital Equity Scorecard to gather new data on skill gaps and develop plans to address gaps in priority industries, geographies and demographics.

"Governors are leading with creative solutions to help workers and job seekers access the tools they need to succeed in a rapidly changing economy, and NGA is honored to support them," said Timothy Blute, director of the NGA Center. "We look forward to working with these six states to help them develop and implement strategies to improve access to the digital skills that are increasingly essential to both workers and businesses."

An initiative of the NGA Center's Workforce Development and Economic Policy Program, NGA WIN was founded in January in partnership with the Cognizant Foundation as a nonpartisan action collaborative for state leaders committed to building an inclusive and resilient workforce. In March, NGA WIN awarded 10 states each up to $100,000 and provided their multi-agency state teams with customized technical assistance to improve employment outcomes in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19. Case studies and best practices from this first round of NGA WIN state grants will be published later this year.

Additional information is available on the L&I website at www.dli.pa.gov or by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

MEDIA CONTACT: Alex Peterson, L&I, dlipress@pa.gov 

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