Governor Wolf Awards $4 Million in Strategic Innovation Grants

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Wolf announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry recently awarded $4 million in Strategic Innovation grants to fund 14 programs across the state in support of the commonwealth’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Combined State Plan.

“The Strategic Innovation grants promote further my goals of jobs that pay, schools that teach, and government that works by encouraging creativity and innovation in achieving workforce development outcomes for both employers and job seekers,” said Governor Tom Wolf.

Job seeker programs will establish career pathways as the primary model for skill, credential and degree attainment.

Programs focusing on employers will work to improve the connection and responsiveness of workforce programs to the demand side of the labor market, and increase public-private investment in critical skills through multi-employer workforce partnerships.

“Developing workforce skills and connecting employers with qualified job seekers are efforts that require and often thrive by thinking outside of the box,” Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino said. “These efforts will strive to provide all Pennsylvanians, with an emphasis on Pennsylvanians with barriers to employment, an opportunity to obtain a job that pays, and support the spread of employer practices that create those very jobs.”

One of the grants will partner South Central PA Works with the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) to launch a transitional work program for formerly incarcerated men and women returning to Dauphin County. The program includes life skills education, paid transitional employment, job coaching and job development services, job retention, support and follow-up services, and job training along career pathways.

“South Central PA Works is excited to partner with the Center for Employment Opportunities to create career pathways for formerly incarcerated citizens on parole supervision,” said Jesse McCree, CEO of SCPa Works. “Dauphin County has one of the highest recidivism rates in the commonwealth and this project will serve at least 100 formerly incarcerated people in a program focused on building a region where the opportunity for prosperity and growth exists for all.”

Grants were awarded using state Reemployment Fund resources. For a full list of grantees and brief summaries of the funded projects, click here.


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