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Shapiro Administration Invests $3 Million in Apprenticeship Opportunities for Pennsylvania High School Students

06/27/2024

Contact: Trevor Monk, dlipress@pa.gov

Harrisburg, PA – The Shapiro Administration today announced a $3 million investment in career development for Pennsylvania's high school students through pre-apprenticeship opportunities offered by career and technical education (CTE) programs that are run by a school district, employer, community non-profit or economic development organization. The Department of Labor & Industry has partnered with the Department of Education to build a more robust school-to-workforce pipeline by supporting the creation of new and expansion of existing pre-apprenticeship programs within traditional CTE structures.

“CTE programs are a natural home for pre-apprenticeship programs, which offer industry-based training and classroom instruction so that future apprentices are ready with the skills and knowledge they will need to complete a full program," said L&I Secretary Nancy A. Walker. “When we invest in our young people through apprenticeship programs, we offer them the freedom to earn a paycheck while they build the in-demand skills that employers need among their workforce. Those talent pipelines will sustain families, businesses and Pennsylvania communities for years to come across traditional and emerging industries."

Governor Josh Shapiro is committed to bringing career and technical education back into the classroom, boosting workforce development efforts, and creating real opportunities for Pennsylvanians to obtain good-paying jobs. That's why the Governor's 2024-25 budget proposal includes $20 million for registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, building on the $23.5 million investment in vo-tech and apprenticeship programs he secured last year. 

Since Governor Shapiro took office, 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 create more capacity within the Commonwealth's registered apprenticeship system to serve more Pennsylvanians. Pre-apprenticeship programs expand career pathways for individuals through industry-based training and classroom instruction, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to complete the minimum requirements of a registered apprenticeship program.

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.

“Investing in today's learners will prepare them for tomorrow's opportunities, and this funding will help more students graduate career ready," said Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin. “Apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships create a seamless transition into careers that are high-skill, high-pay, and high-demand."

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 1,477 pre-apprentices currently active.

In this latest round of funding, eligible applicants include organizations that serve as sponsors or intermediaries of new or existing registered pre-apprenticeships that foster partnerships between career and technical education centers, studentsand families, and employers. 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 Monday, July 22 at 5 p.m. 

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

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