Gov. Wolf Announces Funding to Support Student Agriculture, Manufacturing Career Awareness Program in Berks, Chester

April 05, 2022

Governor Tom Wolf today announced new funding for the Chester County Economic Development Foundation (CCEDF), through Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Program (MTTC), to create a program that will help students explore the link between agricultural and manufacturing careers in Berks and Chester counties.

“Highlighting the connection between agricultural and manufacturing careers not only readies high school students for the workforce, it also broadens their horizons and helps them discover new career possibilities,” said Gov. Wolf. “CCEDF’s program will inspire a new generation as it exposes them to how these two key industries work together to employ Pennsylvanians each year.” 

CCEDF was awarded $200,000 to create the “Bridging Agriculture and Manufacturing in Berks and Chester Counties” program. The program leverages CCEDF’s AgConnect and Manufacturing Alliance of Chester and Delaware Counties Industry Partnerships to develop, deliver, and evaluate career awareness and exploration in manufacturing for students at Kutztown, Octorara, Oley Valley, and Owen J. Roberts High Schools.

As part of the new program, students will gain real-world experiences specific to agriculture and manufacturing outside the classroom by participating in career showcases, workplace readiness programs, and “Circuit Days” where they will visit multiple manufacturers in one day.

“CCEDF and AgConnect have been serving the agriculture community for more than a decade by providing workforce training, financing, and business services, and engaging our future workforce through career exploration programs,” said Gary Smith, CEO of CCEDF. “However, as technology continues to increase, we realize that many of the available jobs in agriculture are in manufacturing. We are excited to showcase the breadth and depth of career options, increasing student opportunity and helping ensure farming and manufacturing can thrive in our region for years to come.” 

Governor Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative was launched in October 2017, and since then has funded 66 projects and invested more than $14.8 million through the Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Grant program.

Training-to-Career grants support projects that result in short-term work-readiness, job placement, or the advancement of manufacturing. The program works collaboratively with local manufacturers to identify and teach missing essential skills for entry level applicants seeking manufacturing employment, engage youth or those with barriers to career opportunities in manufacturing, and or advance capacity for local or regional manufacturers.

For more information about the Wolf administration’s commitment to manufacturing or the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website.

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