Begin Main Content Area

 PA.Media.BreadCrumbs - MediaBreadCrumbs

Media > Labor and Industry > Details

New Budget Invests Millions in Workforce Development Programs, Follows Through on Governor Shapiro’s Promises to Expand Career Pathways for Pennsylvanians


Contact: Trevor Monk,

Harrisburg, PA  With historic investments in workforce development programs, Pennsylvania's new bipartisan budget builds on Governor Josh Shapiro's pledge to expand job-training, vo-tech, and apprenticeship programs and give Pennsylvanians the freedom to chart their own course and the opportunity to succeed. As Governor Shapiro has highlighted in recent weeks, Pennsylvania has a historic opportunity to take advantage of federal funding and complete major infrastructure projects, but the Commonwealth needs the workforce to do that work – and these key investments will help train the next generation of highly skilled workers.

"This is a critical moment in the history of Pennsylvania labor, as we adjust to an economy with unprecedented competition for skilled workers. Governor Shapiro proposed and signed a budget that reflects this Administration's commitment to investments that prepare workers for good jobs and incentivize employers to find new ways to access the talent they need to succeed," Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Nancy A. Walker said. "I look forward to working with legislators, employers and community leaders all over the Commonwealth to build talent pipelines that make sense in 2023 and beyond. Through alternative pathways to family-sustaining employment, like registered apprenticeship programs, we are creating generational change for Pennsylvania families." 

Building off the Governor's Executive Order announcing that 92 percent of state government jobs are open to Pennsylvanians without college degrees, this budget includes a $23.5 million investment in workforce training and vo-tech programs as proposed by the Shapiro Administration; a $6 million investment in apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programming that will lead to family-sustaining wages; and $3.5 million in funding for L&I's Schools-to-Work Program to develop and expand career pathways for high school students via partnerships between schools, employers, organizations, and the Commonwealth.

Here's what workforce development advocates and organized labor leaders are saying:

  • "Governor Shapiro's commitment to breaking down the barrier to good-paying, family-sustaining careers was clear when he removed the college degree requirement for most state jobs earlier this year. A four-year college degree is not the only way to have a good-paying job, and this initiative reflects that by investing in technical education and workforce training initiatives," said Daniel P. Bauder, president of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO. "These programs build the economy from the bottom up and the middle out. By giving workers the opportunity to earn while they learn, this budget is a clear investment in workers and their families."
  • "Governor Shapiro stands by what he runs on. This investment in workforce development will help start the pipeline to prosperity for so many individuals who have been reaching for their piece of the American Dream and will help our employers fill positions in high-demand industries," said Darrin Kelly, president of the Allegheny/Fayette Central Labor Council. "Reshaping workforce development in southwestern Pennsylvania and protecting workers' rights must go hand in hand. This Administration is proving you can do both every day."
  • "The trades are very happy to see the historic investment in workforce development and specifically the investments in apprenticeship programs," said Rob Bair, president of the State Building and Construction Trades Council. "The building trades are the preeminent apprenticeship programs in Pennsylvania and truly know the value that apprenticeship programs bring to the Commonwealth and its residents. The pathway to the middleclass is directly related to apprenticeship programs and investments such as this show the Governor's commitment to working men and women of the Commonwealth."
  • "Pennsylvania is on a path toward building the strongest workforce in the country," said Carrie Amann, executive director of PA Workforce Development Association. "We appreciate the budget's investments in our workers and businesses that will help make sure we have a well-trained workforce, ready to fill the jobs our businesses need. Our partners, members, and stakeholders are ready to capitalize on these new workforce investments and prepare our workforce for the needs of our economy."

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

# # #

 Content Editor

 PA.AgencyPortal.Media - MediaPageTitle