Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier today announced the availability of $2.5 million in Schools-to-Work program grant funding to continue fostering partnerships between schools, employers, organizations, and associations that lead to career pathways for students. Over the course of his administration, Governor Tom Wolf has prioritized investments in Pennsylvania's skilled workforce through innovative programs that remove barriers and create pathways from education to employment.
"Despite the wide-ranging impacts of the pandemic, Pennsylvania has continued to forge new paths in the workforce development space with the goal of supporting the business community with a pipeline of skilled workers," said Secretary Berrier. "Today, workers have immense power and leverage, so what better time to invest in the Pennsylvanians who might have not yet joined the workforce? We encourage workforce development boards, secondary schools, community colleges, trade schools, and others to apply."
Eligible applicants must be any entity that is registered with the department as a pre-apprenticeship program or is connected with a registered apprenticeship program. Other eligible applicants include an entity that has an established connection with a registered apprenticeship program and is working on pre-apprenticeship registration, and which will have the full responsibility for the administration and operation of the program. This applicant will be the program "sponsor." The sponsor must be partnered with at least one school in a school district, charter school, regional charter school, cyber charter school, intermediate unit or career and technical school. The applicant must be capable of bringing together business, education, workforce, community, and other partners to achieve the overall goals of the program.
"The Schools-to-Work program grants will create hands-on learning opportunities for students, including apprenticeships, workplace visits and internships that will individually and collectively play a vital role in filling the labor gaps in our economy," said Berrier. "These funds will help make certain that our workers obtain the industry-recognized skills, certifications or college credits needed to put them on a solid career path to employment and help meet current and future labor market needs."
Project proposals must create learning opportunities for participating students and should focus on the coordination of people and resources to help individuals on a continuous path to family-sustaining employment and career growth. The proposal must also focus on building pre-apprenticeship programs to fill current and anticipated labor market needs in the given geographical area.
The maximum award per project is $250,000, and grants will be awarded and funded based on availability of funds. This grant is funded by re-employment funds, which may be used to fund programs and services to assist individuals to become employed or improve their employment, including, without limitation, job search and placement services, educational enhancement, job training and job readiness and workplace skills training.
Proposals are due by Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at 4 p.m., with contracts starting July 1, 2022, and ending December 31, 2024. Find more information on L&I's website.
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