Gov. Wolf Announces $1.5 Million in PAsmart Job Training Grants in Southwest Pennsylvania

February 07, 2019

Harrisburg, PA – Building on his plan to expand job training for Pennsylvanians, Governor Tom Wolf today announced the first PAsmart Apprenticeship and Next Generation Industry Partnerships grants for southwestern Pennsylvania. The governor launched PAsmart last year to increase STEM and computer science education and job training to prepare workers with the skills that growing businesses need.

“Pennsylvania’s economic future depends on a well-educated and highly-trained workforce,” said Governor Wolf. “These PAsmart grants allow more people to get on-the-job training for good jobs in southwest Pennsylvania. The budget that I announced this week builds on the PAsmart initiative to create the strongest workforce in the nation.”

The grants totaling $700,000 for apprenticeships and nearly $800,000 for Next Generation Industry Partnerships will support job training in construction, engineering and advanced manufacturing in the southwest region. Apprenticeships provide hands-on opportunities for workers to learn skills while earning a paycheck. Next Generation Industry Partnerships connect employers in the same industry to provide job training.

The governor’s budget unveiled Tuesday builds on the success of PAsmart to create opportunities for Pennsylvanians from birth to retirement. The governor’s Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP) expands access to early childhood education, increases investments in schools, and partners with the private sector to build on the PAsmart initiative.

The governor is also creating the Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center to bring together government, schools and industry like never before. The departments of Community and Economic Development, Labor & Industry (L&I), and State will work with external leaders including Chamber of Business and Industry President Gene Barr, and AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale to find innovative solutions that close the skills gap.

The following are the PAsmart apprenticeship and Next Generation Industry Partnerships grants awarded in southwest Pennsylvania. To view full details, visit Southwest PAsmart Grants.

PAsmart Growing Registered Apprenticeship – A $150,000 apprenticeship grant was awarded to Franklin Apprenticeships to deliver, recruit for, and manage a set of registered apprenticeship (RA) programs supporting three high-volume, high-demand IT occupations. It’s expected that the initial RA will be for the Computer User Support Specialist role, delivering 50 apprentices enrolled by the end of 2019.

Early Childhood Education Registered Apprenticeship – A $100,000 apprenticeship grant was awarded, in partnership with Partner4Work, to establish a regional hub for Early Childhood Education (ECE) registered apprenticeships that will serve the needs of businesses and workers across the Pittsburgh Metro Area. Partner4Work plans to do so by replicating an existing ECE RA model in Pennsylvania, piloted in Philadelphia by the 1199c Training & Upgrading Fund, and optimizing it to fit the specific needs of Pittsburgh’s labor market.

Registered Pre-Apprenticeship for Operating Engineers – A $100,000 pre-apprenticeship grant was awarded to Connellsville Area Career & Technical Center to develop a heavy equipment operations pre-apprenticeship in partnership with a RA sponsor, Operating Engineers Union Local 66. The program prepares students in grades 9-12, out-of-school youth, and adults for entry into the RA program, and establishes a career path for participants into the Operating Engineers Union Local 66 RA program to address the “middle skills” gap in the commonwealth.

Pitt Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing (P-CAM) – A $77,000 pre-apprenticeship grant was awarded to recruit and train interested high school and career and technical students, as well as unemployed and under-employed persons, and place them in well-paid entry-level position in Southwestern Pennsylvania manufacturing firms.

East End Cooperative Ministry (EECM) Group – A $60,000 pre-apprenticeship grant was awarded to connect non-traditional students to newly created apprenticeship programs in the sewing trades and hospitality industry.

Intro to the Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program – A $45,950.00 pre-apprenticeship grant was awarded to expand the construction industry’s pipeline of qualified talent by making critical enhancements to the existing Intro to Trades Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Program in order to establish an industry-driven, inclusive, and interlinked system of construction training programs.

Registered Robotics Technician Pre-Apprenticeship Program – A $45,950 pre-apprenticeship grant was awarded to develop interest and skill with high school students across southwestern Pennsylvania through the Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ program. The organization’s mission is to provide exciting hands-on STEM learning experiences through business/education partnerships that will build the current and future workforce needed by the growing robotics and manufacturing industry.

PA AFL-CIO Group Sponsor for Pre-Apprenticeship Programs – A $40,000 pre-apprenticeship grant was awarded to the PA AFL-CIO to pilot a pre-apprenticeship in manufacturing and office skills. The program, which will work in partnership with schools, career and technical centers, community colleges, and other training providers, will develop and sponsor the Certified Production Technician curriculum as a pathway into the industrial manufacturing technician RA program.

Dual Pre-Apprenticeship Program Partnership – A $40,000 pre-apprenticeship grant was awarded, in partnership with the German American Chamber of Commerce (GACC) Pittsburgh Chapter Dual Pre-Apprenticeship Program, to enable high school seniors to complete high school while taking theoretical skill classes and earning a manufacturing technician 1 certification. Students will complete on-site training at their sponsor company and earn six college credits for completing classes that integrate seamlessly with high school classes.

Growing the MANUFACTURING 2000 (M2K) Pre-Apprenticeship Machinist Training Program – A $40,000 pre-apprenticeship grant was awarded, in partnership with New Century Careers (NCC), to narrow the skills gap and increase the region’s pool of skilled workers by growing the M2K pre-apprenticeship machinist program. The machinist pre-apprenticeship training program, which is offered to qualified high school graduates and GED completers 18 and older at NCC’s Training Innovation Center in Pittsburgh, prepares completers to enter the manufacturing workforce within as few as four months.

Tri-County Manufacturing Industry Partnership – A $30,000 Next Generation Advanced Manufacturing Partnership grant was awarded to engage eight public and community partners.

Pittsburgh Financial Services Industry Partnership – A $45,000 Next Generation Business Services Partnership grant was awarded to engage two businesses and 14 public and community partners.

Tri-County Technology Industry Partnership – A $25,000 Next Generation Business Services Partnership grant was awarded to engage eight public and community partners.

Pittsburgh K-12 Education Industry Partnership – A $45,000 Next Generation Education Partnership grant was awarded to engage 18 public and community partners.

Pittsburgh Construction Industry Partnership – A $250,000 Next Generation Building Construction Partnership grant was awarded to strengthen construction industry pipeline, develop unified entry process for construction careers.

Tri-County Health Care Industry Partnership – A $150,000 Next Generation Healthcare Partnership grant was awarded to train 126 incumbent workers and provide career awareness activities to students.

Pittsburgh Early Education Industry Partnership (EEIP) – A $250,00 Next Generation Education Partnership grant was awarded to establish a RA program for early childhood education.

To celebrate the PAsmart grants and investment in workforce development, L&I Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani toured Connellsville Area Career and Technical Center (CACTC) today and met with students.

“Apprenticeship programs are a great example of state agencies and local businesses working together to help meet regional employment needs,” said Cipriani. “Governor Wolf wants Pennsylvania businesses to have access to a world-class workforce, and has proposed additional funding for the PAsmart initiative to further improve access to education, apprenticeships and training programs for students and workers.”

“The CACTC’s PAsmart grant will be used to establish a registered pre-apprenticeship program in the Heavy Equipment Operations Program of Study and create a pipeline to the Operators and Engineers Union Local 66 Registered Apprenticeship Program in New Alexandria, PA” said CACTC Workforce Development Coordinator Shawna Little. “The establishment of a registered pre-apprenticeship program at the CACTC will positively impact our students because they will be prepared to enter the Operators and Engineers Union Local 66 Registered Apprenticeship Program and begin a life-long career in a high-priority occupation in our region.”

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