Kreamer, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today visited Wood-Mode, Snyder County’s largest employer, to highlight job training at Pennsylvania manufacturers. He joined company and local leaders to tour the nation’s leading manufacturer of custom cabinets.
“Having built a similar business, I understand that companies want to hire skilled workers in order to expand and grow, and new businesses will only come to a state that invests in training talented people,” said Governor Wolf. “This tour of Wood-Mode’s state-of-the-art facility is another reminder of the importance of workforce training, whether those workers live in rural communities or our biggest cities.”
Wood-Mode, which celebrated its 75th anniversary last year, has a workforce that includes three generations of highly skilled on-site craftsmen who perform the majority of the company’s cabinetry-making process by hand in combination with advanced technology and automation.
To help employees gain new skills, the company participates in the state’s WEDnetPA program, which enables companies to provide job training through a network of 27 universities, colleges and partner experts. More than 50 Wood-Mode employees have gained training through WEDnetPA at Penn State University’s Innovative Manufacturing Center and other partner institutions. The training included lean manufacturing, A3 thinking and value stream mapping, standard work and root cause analysis, and project management.
“For 75 years, we have maintained success by carefully balancing time-honored craftsmanship while embracing evolving products and technologies,” said Robert Gronlund, a second-generation family owner. “From six employees in 1942 to more than 1,000 employees throughout our 1.3 million square foot facility, our commitment to training and development is vital to our success as we pass skills and techniques from one generation to the next.”
Governor Wolf has made job training a priority in Pennsylvania and is expanding apprenticeship and job programs so workers and students get the hands-on experience they need for good-paying jobs and to create the talented workforce that businesses need now and in the future.
Under Governor Wolf, Pennsylvania ranks near the top of states for apprenticeships and the Department of Labor and Industry is working closely with businesses and schools to expand those opportunities. Today, Pennsylvania has 750 apprenticeship programs and 15,000 apprentices, which is creating a pipeline of ready-to-work talent.
The Wolf administration has also increased the number of students in career and technical programs by 42 percent, and the state is a national leader in the high-growth fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
Pennsylvania is fourth in the number of STEM graduates and is in the top 10 of states for technology and innovation and employment in STEM jobs. The governor is committed to boosting the number of students in STEM majors at state-supported post-secondary institutions to 10,000 by the year 2020 and making sure every student has access to a robust computer science curriculum.