Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier today recognized Philadelphia Works of Greater Philadelphia (PhilaWorks), a non-profit workforce organization, for being awarded a $22.8 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
PhilaWorks is one of 32 workforce development partnerships in the country awarded grant money as part of the $500 million Good Jobs Challenge – funded by President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan. PhilaWorks will use the funding to expand employment opportunities for Pennsylvanians in the healthcare, energy, and infrastructure industries.
"This $22.8 million investment is targeted. It's going to reach communities that have been historically underserved and provide residents there with good paying jobs in booming industries," said Gov. Wolf. "PhilaWorks represents a coalition of partners who are dedicated to finding solutions that address the ongoing economic uncertainty in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. I'm grateful to the Biden Administration for giving a hand-up to success for so many deserving Pennsylvanians. These are the investments that will give them the tools they need to thrive tomorrow."
With collaboration from business partners in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties, PhilaWorks will use grant funding to develop the Coordinated Southeastern Pennsylvania Workforce Development System, an initiative designed to meet existing and emerging industry skills needs, coordinate regional training efforts among employers, connect workers to family-sustaining jobs, and address poverty in historically marginalized communities.
Specifically, PhilaWorks is collaborating with the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, a workforce development arm of University City District helping to train workers for its healthcare partners, including the University of Pennsylvania Health System; with the Philadelphia Energy Authority, an energy sector partnership training workers for the rapidly growing local solar market; and with the Philadelphia Area Labor Management Committee, an infrastructure partnership leading the BUILT-RITE program, a coalition of contractors, unions, and construction users established in 1985. Together, these three sector partnerships will create pathways into family-sustaining union jobs with a focus on historically underserved communities in and around Philadelphia.
"Pennsylvania's workforce development system strives to deliver the education, training and services individuals need to obtain jobs with livable wages, an effort made possible by organizations like PhilaWorks," said Berrier. "L&I congratulates PhilaWorks on this milestone accomplishment and recognizes its commitment to eliminating barriers faced by underserved communities and implementing a streamlined, equitable workforce training system."
The PhilaWorks project was chosen as a finalist from a competitive pool of 509 applicants nationwide. By partnering with stakeholders in the greater Philadelphia region, this project will help supply trained talent for specialized careers in 15 key industries that are essential to U.S. supply chains, global competitiveness and regional development.
"This investment offers our region a tremendous opportunity to reimagine what is possible for both businesses and residents," said H. Patrick Clancy, president and CEO at Philadelphia Works. "Together, we will be convening the private, municipal, and public sectors to ensure that these funds make the long-lasting positive impact that the people in our region so greatly deserve."
For more information about Pennsylvania's workforce development programs, you can visit www.dli.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Alex Peterson, firstname.lastname@example.org
# # #