Governor Wolf Announces Administration’s Efforts Helped More Than 2,000 Companies Train Their Existing Workforce
April 18, 2018
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced the most recent impact figures for the incumbent worker training program funded through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). This past year, the administration supported the training of more than 44,000 employees at more than 800 companies statewide. A total of 120,000 workers at more than 2,200 companies across the commonwealth have been supported through the program since the beginning of the Wolf Administration.
“Workforce development is one of this administration’s top priorities due to its enormous benefits for both employers and workers,” Governor Wolf said. “Incumbent workforce training programs not only help businesses ensure that their employees have the skills they need to thrive in their work, but it also benefits workers who can use the training as a way to gain expertise that leads to higher-paying jobs. We’re proud to have supported training that has led to more than 120,000 success stories for Pennsylvania workers.”
DCED provides funding through the Workforce & Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania program to companies to assist specifically with incumbent worker training. The program is administered through a network of educational partners that include community colleges and universities across the commonwealth. Eligible in-state businesses and out-of-state companies relocating to Pennsylvania can apply to access training funds which in turn can be used for a wide range of training based on the needs of the employer.
From the start of the Wolf Administration through June 2017, a total of more than $25 million in DCED funding supported the training of 120,462 employees at 2,245 companies. In the most recent full fiscal year alone, Fiscal year 2016-17, DCED supported the training of 44,003 employees at 806 companies with just under $9 million in funding.
By focusing exclusively on incumbent worker training, DCED’s program serves as a complement to other state initiatives to develop the workforce like apprenticeship programs, STEM education, and career and technical education. Incumbent training enables employers to better adapt to the changing global economy through their current workforce rather than hiring brand new workers – or moving to other areas with a greater supply of a specific talent base. For workers, incumbent training programs not only strengthen job security, but lead to more advanced and more marketable skills.
“In order to strengthen their workforce, more and more companies are looking inward at how to develop their own employees, rather than outward through hiring new ones,” said Thomas Venditti, statewide director of the Workforce & Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania (WEDnetPA), DCED’s flagship incumbent worker training program. “This program is a valuable resource for businesses looking to develop their workers because it enables companies to expand their employees’ skill sets, teach them new technology, and create a more productive environment.”
DCED’s incumbent worker training program is a vital component of Governor Wolf’s initiatives designed to strengthen Pennsylvania’s workforce by equipping workers with the skills they need to succeed in a rapidly-evolving global economy. In his 2018-19 budget, Governor Wolf proposed PAsmart, a new workforce development initiative to improve coordination and services across commonwealth agencies including training and business engagement activities within DCED and the Department of Labor & Industry. PAsmart provides a $50 million investment in education and job training to improve access for Pennsylvania students and workers to education, training, and career readiness programs. These targeted investments for 21st-century skills will assist employers with meeting their workforce needs.