At Philadelphia Training Center, Governor Shapiro Highlights Workforce Training Program That Will Invest Up to $400 Million, Create 10,000 Infrastructure Jobs Across the Commonwealth
August 02, 2023
The Commonwealth Workforce Transformation Program is the first program of its kind in the nation and will expand our workforce and accelerate infrastructure projects by investing $400 million in federal funding in on-the-job training
Philadelphia, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro and Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Nancy A. Walker visited Steamfitters 420 Local in Philadelphia to highlight Governor Shapiro’s new Commonwealth Workforce Transformation Program (CWTP) – a first-in-the-nation job training program that provides workforce development grants to ensure companies, contractors, unions, and others who are working to build Pennsylvania’s infrastructure have the skilled workforce they need.
The CWTP, created by Governor Shapiro’s executive order signed on Monday, will create new opportunities for Pennsylvania workers and help expand the Commonwealth’s workforce by providing grants of up to $40,000 for each new employee hired and trained in Pennsylvania for critical infrastructure projects, up to a maximum of $400,000 per contract or award for organizations doing work funded by President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) or the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
Under the CWTP, the Commonwealth will reserve at least 3% of all funding it receives from the IIJA and IRA to fund workforce development and on-the-job training, meaning that as much as $400 million could be used for workforce training in Pennsylvania over the next five years – the largest investment in workforce training in Pennsylvania history, supporting as many as 10,000 new jobs. This is especially important for workers like the steamfitters, who are working on federally funded energy efficiency projects across the Commonwealth and continue to train new apprentices, like those the Governor met today.
“My vision for Pennsylvania is one where everyone has the freedom to chart their own course and the opportunity to succeed – and thanks to the historic federal infrastructure funding championed by the Biden Administration, we have a tremendous opportunity to create good-paying jobs and build big things in this nation,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “I’ve heard from contractors and union leaders all across Pennsylvania, who’ve all told me how they’re struggling to find enough workers for these kinds of projects. That’s why I created this program – the first of its kind in the country – to invest up to $400 million of that federal infrastructure funding in workforce training and create 10,000 new infrastructure jobs in Pennsylvania. We are going to continue to be a strong partner with our labor unions to bring forth creative, innovative solutions in Pennsylvania that help grow our ranks.”
Under the leadership of Secretary Walker, L&I will manage the CWTP, which will support companies, contractors, unions, and others who want to do critical work on the Commonwealth’s infrastructure but need to find experienced workers or train new workers to get the projects done quickly, safely, and effectively. Secretary Walker will appoint an Executive Director of the CWTP to administer the program.
“To build a well-trained workforce that supports Pennsylvania businesses and is prepared for jobs of the future, we need to find creative ways to reach those who want to work – and the Commonwealth Workforce Transformation Program invests in the hard-working people of Pennsylvania,” said L&I Secretary Nancy A. Walker. “This program will bring 10,000 new workers into Pennsylvania’s labor force and directly contribute to the completion of critical infrastructure projects. Under the leadership of Governor Shapiro, we will continue to build Pennsylvania – through good jobs and economic opportunity.”
Pennsylvania currently faces a shortage of workers to complete critical infrastructure projects – and we need to expand this workforce in order to rebuild our infrastructure and take advantage of the opportunity this federal funding presents the Commonwealth.
“It’s a tremendous honor to have my good friend Governor Shapiro in attendance – we’re very excited for this big announcement,” said Steamfitters 420 Local Business Manager Jim Snell. “We were just in the back office talking about the cool plans that the Governor has with this executive order in regard to workforce development. At the end of the day, it’s about jobs for us – putting our members and brothers and sisters out in the field to work. And this is what we’re about – trying to live the American dream, being able to provide for our families and put some food on the table, so when we hear jobs – it gets us excited.”
The CWTP is also designed to empower and expand economic opportunities to Pennsylvanians who have too often been left out and left behind by encouraging new on-the-job training programs, supporting apprenticeships, promoting the hiring of unemployed people, the formerly incarcerated, and new entrants into the workforce, and rewarding those who maintain the highest workplace standards.
“I joined 420 almost five years ago expecting to work hard on great trades – and that’s what happened. I received an education from the most knowledgeable instructors this industry has to offer,” said Steamfitters Local 420 Apprentice Danny Sansom. “I know I speak for my other classmates and union brothers when I say we’ve grown up here. Joining this union was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made – and I’d like to thank Governor Shapiro and the hall for letting me share today.”
To help Pennsylvania repair our roads and bridges and modernize our energy, water, and sewer infrastructure across the Commonwealth, the Shapiro Administration created the CWTP in close collaboration with the Biden Administration, unions, and the private sector, and will continue working with stakeholders to invest federal infrastructure dollars in the Commonwealth’s workforce by providing on-the-job training to new employees.
As Governor Shapiro showed with rebuilding I-95 in just 12 days, when government works together and when we have a skilled workforce ready to do the job, we can build big things again in Pennsylvania and across America.
Pennsylvania workers and employers can find details on the CWTP, eligibility information, and other resources at pa.gov/newjobs.
MEDIA CONTACT: Governor’s Press Office, firstname.lastname@example.org