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Labor & Industry Highlights Millersville University Digital-Literacy Program Preparing Pennsylvanians for Family-Sustaining Jobs

05/24/2022

Quarryville, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Deputy Secretary of Workforce Development Sheila Ireland today visited Quarryville Library in Lancaster County to highlight a program created by Millersville University, with grant funding from the Wolf Administration, to enhance foundational digital-literacy skills and provide greater access to employment opportunities in the 21st Century job market.

"The impact of technology used in the recruiting, hiring and application process is undeniably difficult for Pennsylvanians who do not have the access or skills needed to obtain family-sustaining wages," Deputy Secretary Ireland said. "Mobilizing employers and local programs to close the digital divide will not only strengthen communities but is crucial to workers' success. The Wolf Administration is proud of its investment in digital literacy and its partnership with Millersville University to help students find career-focused employment."

In 2021, L&I announced an investment of $1.3 million in Digital Literacy and Workforce Development Grants (DLWDG) for computer-based training offered by 32 organizations statewide. Millersville University received $45,000 to promote digital-literacy skills among unemployed and underemployed participants and assist them in job seeking and job performance with in-person instruction and online courses.

In March 2022, L&I announced a second round of DLWDG funding, totaling nearly $900,000, for 21 organizations across the commonwealth to boost digital competency among Pennsylvania workers.

With funding from the DLWDG, Millersville University partnered with the Lancaster County Workforce Development Board, PA CareerLink®  of Lancaster County, Quarryville Library and Adamstown Library to provide three, six-week computer and digital-literacy training courses, including: Keyboarding, Understanding Computer Skills in the Workplace, and Acing Your Job Search. Participants engaged in virtual focus groups and one-on-one review with library staff to increase comfort with online tools essential for the modern workplace. In total, 13 participants completed seven online courses, and four participants participated in a Digital Citizenship and Digital Navigation lesson presented by a Millersville University librarian.

On Tuesday, Deputy Secretary Ireland joined Millersville University coordinators, as well as Quarryville Library staff and PA CareerLink® officials for a workforce development presentation with program participants to discuss what is being done at the local level to develop lifelong digital-literacy skills and ensure job seekers' success in a competitive, technology-advanced workforce.

"As a public institution of higher education, Millersville University is committed to preparing learners to meet workforce needs in our community," said Hope Schmids, director of workforce development at Millersville University. "We are concerned about the current labor crisis and very much want to be part of effective solutions. This digital literacy grant allows participants to acquire or enhance career-ready skills that are vital in the 21st Century workplace."

DLWDGs are 100 percent federally funded by federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Statewide Activity funding. WIOA Statewide Activity funding can be used to help job seekers and workers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market. Additional details can be found on L&I's website.

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, dlipress@pa.gov

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