Governor Wolf Outlines PAsmart, New Workforce Development Initiative to Help Pennsylvanians Get Job Training

March 09, 2018

Pittsburgh, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf outlined his plans for PAsmart – a new workforce development initiative that helps connect Pennsylvanians with resources for working and training in Pennsylvania. The governor made the announcement during a tour of New Century Careers, a Southwestern Pennsylvania workforce development organization.

“I am investing in the people of Pennsylvania by launching the PAsmart initiative, which will help Pennsylvanians get the skills they need to get good, middle class jobs,” Governor Wolf said.

“Pennsylvanians have never shied away from hard work, pursuing education opportunities, and seeking out training. Through this initiative, Pennsylvania will have the most prepared, talented, and able workforce in the country. We’re not working harder; we’re working smarter.”

Governor Wolf’s 2018-19 budget proposal will include $50 million for PAsmart:

  • $25 million increase in STEM and computer science education at all levels. Nearly 300,000 jobs in the commonwealth require skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Over the next decade, more than 70 percent of new jobs will require these skills.
  • $7 million increase in apprenticeships with a goal of doubling the number of registered apprentices by 2025. Since Governor Wolf established the commonwealth’s first Apprenticeship and Training Office in 2016, the number of registered apprentices has increased 14.5 percent, from 13,282 registered apprentices to 15,208.
  • $3 million increase for Industry Partnerships which bring together workers and multiple employers in the same industry in a public-private partnership to provide job training.
  • $10 million increase to develop Career and Technical Education and STEM career pathways to help students learn about career options and earn an associate degree at a lower cost and in less time.
  • $5 million increase to encourage employers to partner with colleges and universities to develop educational programs that prepare students for the jobs high demand jobs that local employers need.

As part of the first phase of the PASmart initiative, the Wolf administration is launching a new website, pa.gov/smart, dedicated to help people get information about pursing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life.

The workforce development initiatives support the governor’s goal to increase the number of workers with postsecondary training from 47 percent today to 60 percent by 2025.

While on the tour at New Century Careers, the governor also announced that the organization has been approved as one of the first recipients of the new Pennsylvania Manufacturing Training-to-Career Grant Program.

“It’s wonderful to see the incredible work being done here at New Century Careers, connecting people with the skills they need to get meaningful careers in the manufacturing industry – one of Pennsylvania’s most critical industries,” Governor Wolf said.

“This kind of program is incredibly important and that’s why we’re recognizing and rewarding New Century as one of the first recipients of our new Pennsylvania Manufacturing Training-to-Career Grants in the amount of $150,000 to support its Manufacturing 2000 initiative.”

In October 2017, Governor Wolf announced his Manufacturing PA initiative, which is made up of three new programs, including:

  • The Pennsylvania Manufacturing Training-to-Career Grant program to help companies identify and train a skilled workforce while creating a workplace culture that enables the workforce to advance and the company to grow. Grants are provided to Pennsylvania manufacturers that partner with technical and trade schools, Pennsylvania’s community colleges, and those non-profit organizations that demonstrate both experience and expertise in the development and deployment of workforce development programs.
  • The Pennsylvania Manufacturing Innovation Program leverages the internationally acclaimed science and engineering talent and discovery capacity of Pennsylvania’s institutions of higher education to help ensure that the commonwealth remains an international leader in manufacturing. This includes a Manufacturing Fellows program, designed to support designated undergraduate and graduate student Fellows in both long- and short-term engagements with industry.
  • Pennsylvania’s Industrial Resource Centers are expanding their outreach to include small and medium-sized businesses, and will continue to provide technical, strategic, and market-based assistance to Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector.

New Century Careers is a Southwestern Pennsylvania workforce development organization with a dual client mission to support pre-employment and incumbent manufacturing workers as well as their current or future employers to help each set of clients advance economically through continuous workforce education and training.

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