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Shapiro Administration Announces $5 Million in Grant Funding Available to Expand Registered Apprenticeship Programs Across PA

06/04/2024

Contact: Trevor Monk, dlipress@pa.gov

 Harrisburg, PA – The Shapiro Administration is inviting organizations across the Commonwealth to apply for grant funding to support the creation and expansion of registered apprenticeship programs that offer earn-as-you-learn opportunities to Pennsylvania workers in historically underserved populations – especially in new industry sectors and through partnerships with educational institutions. Approximately $5 million is available to be awarded.

Governor Josh Shapiro has been focused on creating real opportunities for people to obtain good-paying jobs. That's why the Governor's 2024-25 budget proposal builds on the 2023-24 budget with bipartisan support for investments in workforce development, including $20 million in total investments for registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs.

Since Governor Shapiro took office, the Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) has supported the creation of more than 40 new registered apprenticeship programs in Pennsylvania with 15,540 registered apprentices currently active and continues to work with partners across the Commonwealth to expand apprenticeship into new industry sectors. Earlier this month, L&I and the Department of Agriculture announced a $350,000 grant to the Rodale Institute in Berks County for the development of a first-in-Pennsylvania apprenticeship program for organic compliance inspectors in the agriculture industry.

Apprenticeship programs have traditionally served the building trades, and efforts to continue growing opportunities in the trades remains a top priority. The Shapiro Administration has also prioritized the development of apprenticeship programs in new sectors and is working hard to promote these opportunities to historically underserved populations because apprenticeship is a career pathway to family-sustaining wages without the crippling burden of debt.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that, on average, apprentices earn a starting wage of $80,000 per year after graduation and are on track to earn $300,000 more over their careers compared to workers who do not graduate from an apprenticeship program. For every dollar spent on apprenticeships, employers get an average of $1.47 back in increased productivity.

L&I's Apprenticeship and Training Office currently supports 883 unduplicated registered apprenticeship program sponsors and 1,560 occupation-specific programs across the Commonwealth. Additionally, there are 115 registered pre-apprenticeship programs and 1,685 pre-apprentices currently active.

In this latest round of funding, single-county initiatives are eligible for up to $400,000 in grant funding, and multi-county or statewide initiatives can apply for up to $600,000. Applicants should submit their proposals by Friday, July 12. Qualified projects will propose apprenticeship programs that achieve the following:

  • Build new or expand current registered apprenticeship programs that recruit from diverse talent pipelines and serve historically underserved populations;
  • Support the expansion of programs into fast-growing and/or high-need occupations;
  • Improve alignment between existing apprenticeship programs and secondary and/or post-secondary educational institutions;
  • Support the expansion of apprenticeship programs with a statewide or multi-county reach.

More information about this grant opportunity is available on L&I's website.

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