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Shapiro Administration Preparing Pennsylvanians for Nursing Careers with Funding for Health Care Apprenticeships


Contact: Trevor Monk,

Harrisburg, PA –The Shapiro Administration today announced the availability of nearly $504,000 in grant funding to boost the ranks of nurses in communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through the earn-as-you-learn apprenticeship career model. The Nursing Pathway Apprenticeship Industry Partnership program in Pennsylvania is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and supported by Sen. Maria Collett's Nursing Workforce Initiative (NWI).

"Pennsylvania's healthcare industry continues to face significant and ongoing challenges, particularly with an unprecedented shortage of nurses," L&I Acting Secretary Nancy Walker said. "This grant program is a commonsense solution to not only help address critical workforce shortages, but it will help create equitable access to opportunities that build meaningful careers and contribute to a strong economy, while eliminating barriers to quality, family-sustaining employment."

In February 2023, the Shapiro Administration awarded $700,000 in first-round grants to three Nursing Pathway Apprenticeship Industry Partnership programs. With this second round of Nursing Pathway Apprenticeship Industry Partnership grant funding, local workforce development boards can continue to offer in-demand training for individuals interested in becoming home health aides, certified nursing assistants, and licensed practical nurses. The department is seeking partners to create a new apprenticeship model specifically designed for and targeting underserved populations.

The deadline to apply for grant funding is May 10, 2023. More information about the Pennsylvania Nursing Pathway Apprenticeship Industry Partnership grant availability is available on L&I's website.
Nursing Pathway Apprenticeship Industry Partnership Program
Pennsylvania hospitals are grappling with maintaining adequate staffing levels for qualified nurses. A December 2021 survey by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), updated in February 2022, revealed high vacancy rates across various nursing occupations, illustrating the continued need for urgent action.

In September 2021, Sen. Collett introduced the NWI initiative to support and retain nurses across the Commonwealth amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. L&I dedicated ARPA funds to the NWI initiative, allowing the department's Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO) to administer funding to registered apprenticeship and industry partnerships within underserved communities across the Commonwealth.

Competitive grants up to $250,000 will be awarded per application for programs with a single-county or localized reach, while grants up to $350,000 will be awarded per application for programs with a statewide or multi-county reach (three or more counties). Priority consideration will be given to programs developed in and provided to low- or moderate-income communities. This opportunity is 100% federally funded with Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds established under the American Rescue Plan Act.

Apprenticeship and Training Office
Established in 2016, L&I's Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO) is responsible for guiding and promoting the expansion and compliance of all registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs across the Commonwealth. The ATO currently supports 868 unduplicated program sponsors and 1,580 occupation-specific registered apprenticeship programs across the Commonwealth, with 16,362 registered apprentices currently active. Governor Shapiro's budget proposes an investment of $2.5 million for apprenticeships that will support the creation of at least 20 new programs serving about 1,200 apprentices. 

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, please visit the website or follow L&I on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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