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Gov. Wolf: New 21st Century Manufacturing Apprenticeship in Southwestern Pennsylvania

March 26, 2019

Harrisburg, PA – Building on his commitment to expand job training, Governor Tom Wolf today announced a new apprenticeship program for machinists in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The apprenticeships will prepare workers for new jobs in the machine manufacturing industry in the region.

“Apprenticeships give Pennsylvanians the opportunity to build a rewarding career and earn a good wage,” said Governor Wolf. “Registered apprenticeship programs provide students and workers with the hands-on experience needed for growing careers, while strengthening the pipeline of talented workers that businesses need.”

Apprenticeships are part of Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative to invest in apprenticeships, job training, and science and technology education. The governor’s budget unveiled last month builds on the success of PAsmart to create opportunities for Pennsylvanians from birth to retirement. The governor’s Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP) expands access to early childhood education, increases investments in schools, and partners with the private sector to build on the PAsmart initiative.

In Ford City, a machinist apprenticeship with Herkules USA Corp was approved by the Department of Labor and Industry’s Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO). Herkules USA specializes in manufacturing and modernizing new machines, and is dedicated to continuous training to ensure that their employees are up-to-date with technological developments. Westmoreland Community College will provide the related technical instruction for the apprenticeship program.

“With our newly approved State Apprenticeship Program, we are happy to be at the same level as our sister companies in Germany, which have had established Machinist Apprenticeship Programs for many years and have been able to perform in-house education,” said Jakob Scheiffarth, President, Herkules USA Corp. “We are pleased to now be able to train motivated individuals to learn new skills in the trade of machining.”

The Wolf administration created the ATO in 2016. Since then, the office has registered 138 new sponsors and 193 new apprenticeship programs or occupations, bringing the total number of registered apprentices to 16,866 statewide.

“Labor & Industry is working to double the number of registered apprentices in the state by 2025,” said L&I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “Governor Wolf wants to build the strongest workforce in the nation and has proposed additional funding for his PAsmart initiative to further improve access to education, apprenticeships and training programs for students and workers.”

Apprenticeship programs approved by the ATO provide employer-driven training to create a more productive, highly-skilled workforce for employers and help reduce employee turnover. The program provides job seekers with increased skills, and a nationally recognized credential to support future career advancement and increased wages.

For more information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit PAsmart.

Visit ATO for more information about apprenticeship programs and the Apprenticeship and Training Office.

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