Gov. Wolf Announces $11 Million in Workforce Development Funding for PAsmart Apprenticeship Programs

April 14, 2022

Governor Tom Wolf today announced awards totaling more than $11 million for 26 apprenticeship programs that will empower Pennsylvania workers to earn while they learn and support Pennsylvania businesses in building a pipeline of talent for occupations in agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, IT, education, human services, building trades and more.

“Throughout history, apprenticeships have been a vital and necessary part of career education in certain fields,” Gov. Wolf said. “By expanding these important programs to more occupations and industries, we are offering Pennsylvania workers opportunities to train for family-sustaining jobs while helping businesses develop a workforce that will strengthen our economy and our communities.”  

Each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties will be served by one or more of the funded programs.

Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier said the funding comes at an important juncture for Pennsylvania’s workers and employers alike.

“Today, workers have the power to demand better pay, better benefits and safer working conditions. Pennsylvania’s economic recovery from the pandemic depends significantly on what we do now to respond to those demands,” Berrier said. “Workforce development is most successful when community members collaborate to develop practical solutions to collective problems. The apprenticeship programs funded through PAsmart are precisely the types of solutions we need to meet this moment.”

The grants, offered through L&I’s Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO), are part of Governor Wolf’s PA Statewide Movement for Accountability, Readiness and Training (PAsmart) framework, which is designed to better align education, workforce and economic development initiatives and funding.

In March, the administration also announced a new round of grant funding available to Pennsylvania apprenticeship programs to develop diverse talent pipelines and reach underrepresented populations within the building and construction trades. A total of $1.5 million is available, and applications are due by April 21.

The Wolf Administration established the ATO in 2016 to support and expand registered apprenticeship programs statewide. The office provides outreach, education and technical support to current and prospective apprenticeship program sponsors and apprentices. The ATO aims to expand the apprenticeship model to non-traditional occupations and ensure apprenticeship opportunities are available to under-represented communities across the commonwealth.

The ATO currently supports more than 17,000 active apprentices, nearly 5,000 new apprentices and more than 1,500 active apprenticeship programs around the commonwealth.

The PAsmart grants listed below support apprenticeship programs with specific focus on diverse talent pipelines and underserved populations, non-traditional occupations, alignment with secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, and expedited growth through multi-county or statewide initiatives.

An additional $1 million was awarded to build and expand six ambassador networks designed to support apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. Those grants were awarded to Keystone Development Partnership, Philadelphia Works on behalf of ApprenticeshipPHL, Thomas P. Miller and Associates, Northern Tier Regional Planning and Development Commission, Pennsylvania Apprenticeship Coordinators Association and Luzerne/Schuylkill WDB.

CENTRAL REGION

Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation (Advance Central PA) | $650,000

Advancing Energy and Infrastructure Apprenticeship Pathways

Advance Central PA, in partnership with Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology, will develop apprenticeship programs in non-traditional fields: water operator/wastewater operator and solar photovoltaic (PV) installer. Programs will enroll 25 apprentices from three or more counties across Central Pennsylvania to benefit workers, businesses and rural communities that rely on clean water and can benefit from solar energy.

The Pennsylvania State University | $433,744

Animal Science Apprenticeship Program (ASAP)

ASAP aims to create a new initiative in training for workers in livestock production for operations such as integrated swine farms, large dairy farms, and egg-processing operations. Currently, these livestock operations are facing extreme worker shortages, yet are a significant component of the food supply chain. The ASAP initiative will focus on creating work-based educational opportunities for workers to establish career paths in animal production and create much needed longevity among the workforce.

NuPaths, LLC | $649,998

NuPaths to IT Apprenticeships

The project aims to design and develop four distance-learning pre-apprenticeship training programs: digital marketing assistant, associate website developer, software testing analyst and project analyst. NuPaths will train 30 pre-apprentices from Northeast High School as technical support specialists and 50 youth or adult pre-apprentices across Pennsylvania as IT security analysts, network technicians, digital marketing assistants, and associate website developers.

Pennsylvania College of Technology | $649,960

Pennsylvania College of Technology Healthcare and AM Apprenticeship/Pre-Apprenticeship

Pennsylvania College of Technology aims to grow new and existing registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs to expand and diversify the apprenticeship model statewide in the healthcare and advanced manufacturing sectors. The project will serve about 200 apprentices and 88 pre-apprentices with three new and four existing programs. Twelve employers and five school districts will also participate, helping the commonwealth meet the education and workforce needs of students, workers, employers, and communities.

The Manufacturers’ Association | $519,338

The Manufacturers’ Association Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship Ecosystem

The program, which covers South Central PA and Lancaster County, currently serves more than 80 apprentices and 60 pre-apprentices. This project expansion will expand services to Chester County and build capacity for more apprentices, pre-apprentices, and related training for new trades and to reach non-traditional populations. These resources will also allow for expansion to additional counties, add new equipment, hire a full-time pre-apprenticeship coordinator, and create new partnerships with the Milton Hershey School for pre-apprenticeship and the U.S. Navy for apprenticeship programs.

ASHLIN Management Group, Inc. | $649,469

Growing Non-traditional Registered Apprenticeships (RAs) for Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs) in the Healthcare Sector in South Central Pennsylvania and Lancaster County

This project will create a replicable non-traditional registered apprenticeship model for medical assistant. UPMC/PHMG will hire 40 apprentices in multiple locations throughout the healthcare system. Apprentices will complete 376 hours of related training instruction and 624 hours of on-the-job training. Completers will obtain a certified medical assistant credential through the National Healthcareer Association and be retained by UPMC/PHMG as certified medical assistants.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Drexel University | $400,000

Registered Apprenticeships for MiddleSkill Professionals (RAMP)

Drexel will encourage economic growth by channeling its robust pipeline of job seekers that have participated in its foundational workforce development and adult education programs into a new registered apprenticeships program with non‐traditional career pathways of technology services and healthcare. RAMP will be a collaborative of strong cross‐sector partnerships, with Drexel as the convener and capacity‐builder to implement the work and generate better outcomes for workers, businesses, and the community at large.

Community College of Philadelphia | $320,000

Automotive Technician Apprenticeship Program

The program will build on the college’s significant partnerships in the region’s automotive industry to continue to develop a robust automotive technician training and career pathway using the apprenticeship model to reach students for whom more formal college-level training may be inaccessible. Industry partners will actively participate in program/curriculum development and provide work‐based learning and job opportunities to participants.

Arcadia University | $632,258

UG PreK4 Registered Apprenticeship Program

Arcadia will expand its early childhood education program to enroll and train 12 new registered apprentices with targeted recruiting of individuals from marginalized groups, such as people of color and socio-economically disadvantaged communities. The program will also expand  regional outreach and provide new academic supports, including preparation for basic skills tests, laptops, and financial supports to mitigate housing/food insecurities and child care costs and provide tuition scholarships.

Congreso de Latinos Unidos | $400,000

Human Services Pathway

Congreso will leverage resources from the Human Services Pathway program to establish a registered pre-apprenticeship and group-sponsored registered apprenticeship program in the human services field. The project will serve Philadelphia with an emphasis on the eastern North Philadelphia community. The project will serve 30 pre-apprentices, 25 apprentices, and at least three employers.

The Wistar Institute | $649,551

Expanding Registered Apprenticeship in the BIOsciences (ERA in BIO)

In response to growing demand in the biosciences, the Wistar Institute will increase the size of its Biomedical Research Technician (BRT) apprenticeship by recruiting new employers in Philadelphia as well as Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties and engaging these employers to serve as pre-apprenticeship training sites to support the expansion of the Biomedical Technician Training (BTT) pre-apprenticeship and the development of additional pre-apprenticeship on-ramps into the BRT apprenticeship, including a potential high school pre-apprenticeship program.

The Philadelphia Academies, Inc. | $394,532

Pre-Apprenticeship in the Construction Trades (PACT) Program

The PACT Program at Jules E. Mastbaum Technical and Vocational High School is a prospective pre-apprenticeship focused on plumbing, carpentry, electrical and welding. Using a non-traditional program model (a single pre-apprenticeship that prepares students for entry into multiple pathways), the program removes barriers to accessing advanced training for non-traditional populations, specifically females and students of color.

SOUTHWEST REGION

The University of Pittsburgh | $318,720

Dental Assistant Apprenticeship Program

This project will establish an apprenticeship program to train dental assistants to work in dental offices throughout the region. There is a shortage of dental assistants in the industry and this program will provide training to produce more dental assistants who can fill this need. This project also includes a partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools to recruit public school system students to join the apprenticeship program upon graduation.

Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (Partner4Work) | $400,000

Healthcare Apprenticeship Partnership (HAP)

The HAP aims to achieve three broad outcomes through project activities: develop, register and implement at least two Registered Apprenticeship Programs, with nursing and facilities maintenance technician (FMT) being top priority; expand the pipeline of trained nurses and FMTs in the Pittsburgh region; and retain and support apprentices during and after training, especially through the development of a wraparound service model and through the development of defined career pathways.

Allegheny County JATC of the Heating, Piping and Air Conditioning Industry (Apprentice & Journeyman Training Fund of the Heating Piping Industry) | $520,000

Diversifying Local Union 449’s Apprenticeship Program

The goal is to expand and diversify the Steamfitter Local Union 449’s Registered Apprenticeship Program by focusing on recruitment of diverse talent pipelines and underserved populations, resulting in the enrollment of twice as many minority and underrepresented apprentices over the grant period.

Community Kitchen Pittsburgh | $391,657

Expansion of Food Industry Apprenticeships for Marginalized Populations

The project aims to expand Community Kitchen Pittsburgh’s existing registered apprenticeship program through increased industry, educational, and community partnerships with a goal of transforming the regional food system into a platform for economic opportunity for marginalized populations.

STATEWIDE

Keystone Development Partnership | $485,768

Registered Apprenticeship (RA) Navigator Apprenticeship – Expanding Statewide Capacity to Support Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship

Keystone Development Partnership (KDP) previously developed the RA Navigator program for workforce intermediaries. The RA Navigator is an apprenticeship program that trains people to start and manage apprenticeship programs, developed with a goal to help rapidly expand apprenticeship throughout the commonwealth. With additional support from PAsmart, KDP will train an additional 46 RA Navigators from across the Commonwealth between 2022 and 2024.

Franklin Apprenticeships | $520,000

Tech Talent for PA

Franklin Apprenticeships will establish and enroll participants into non-traditional, competency-based registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships using a non-traditional service delivery process. The proposed Franklin statewide program will prioritize 240 new pre-apprenticeships and 40 apprenticeships expanding into non-traditional occupations parallel to the growing workforce-need within the IT sector. The program has a special focus on prioritizing the recruitment of diverse populations and historically underserved participants (including minorities, low-income populations and women).

BAYADA Home Health Care | $650,000

Nursing Workforce Expansion Initiative

BAYADA’s Nursing Workforce Expansion Initiative has two goals: replicate and expand the nascent home care nurse residency apprenticeship program across multiple counties; and build a new, complementary registered apprenticeship program in nursing — culminating in a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) credential for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Home Health Aides (HHAs) to advance their clinical careers.

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture | $391,667

Growing Pennsylvania’s Vegetable Industry through Registered Apprenticeship

The project aims to train 30 apprentices and certify 18 mentors for careers as diversified vegetable farmers. The program will support mentors along career pathways that include positions as farm owners, farm managers, and agricultural professionals supporting Pennsylvania’s $1.8 billion specialty crop industry.

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