Gov. Wolf Announces New Funding to Train Apprentices to Meet Consumer Demand for Locally Grown Vegetables in Pennsylvania
August 30, 2022
Departments of Community and Economic Development and Agriculture to hold press conference and tour LEAF Project at 9:30 AM today, 554 Warm Springs Rd., Landisburg, PA
Governor Tom Wolf is continuing to invest in the commonwealth’s workforce with the announcement of $293,070 in new funding to help Pasa Sustainable Agriculture (Pasa) enhance their Diversified Vegetable Pre-Apprenticeship and Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship programs.
“Through this funding, Pasa will be able to provide training for diversified vegetable apprentices and pre-apprentices across Pennsylvania,” said Gov. Wolf. “The invaluable skillset these apprentices and pre-apprentices learn helps keep agriculture at the forefront of the commonwealth’s economy. My administration is pleased to continue to support these programs.”
The departments of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and Agriculture are holding a press conference at 9:30 AM today and will tour a working farm at the LEAF Project, 554 Warm Springs Rd., Landisburg, PA 17040.
“Pennsylvania has a strong workforce, and it is due, in part, to programs like this one,” said Gwen Ross, director of Workforce Development Initiatives at DCED. “Continuing to invest in programs that provide training and develop our workforce is a key way to give Pennsylvania a competitive advantage.”
“Consumer demand for locally grown food is growing rapidly,” Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Special Assistant Sara Gligora said. “For Pennsylvania growers to meet that demand and compete in the marketplace, they need skilled workers who can adapt to new technologies. These apprenticeships are a solid investment in attracting good students and paying them while they learn the skills agriculture needs to keep feeding demand and feeding the world.”
Through this funding, provided by Pennsylvania’s Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program, Pasa will partner with six farmer training programs across the commonwealth to support the needs of training five pre-apprentices annually for three years by each employer. Funding will also support five registered apprentices annually for a period of three years.
“Pasa’s state-registered Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship programs are major milestones in ushering in the next generation of Pennsylvania’s farmers,” said Dan Dalton, assistant director of Farmer Training and Development at Pasa. “Diversified Vegetable Pre-Apprenticeship offers a first step to a career in agriculture. Graduates of the full apprenticeship will be able to clearly demonstrate their competencies, better positioning them for management-level positions, and accessing capital and land opportunities.”
Established by a group of Pennsylvania farmers in 1992, Pasa administers farmer training, research, policy, peer education, and local food programs. The organization is focused on creating a world where agriculture nourishes, heals, and empowers by cultivating environmentally sound, economically viable, community-focused farms and food systems.
Under Governor Wolf, 82 pre-apprentice and apprenticeship programs have been supported and more than $12 million has been invested through Pennsylvania’s Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Program. The first Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship was awarded in 2019, and was the first of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The program works to increase apprenticeship availability to Pennsylvania employers to assist them with their talent recruitment and development. Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Program funding is provided to eligible applicants for the purpose of reaching the goal of increasing apprenticeship accessibility across the state. Eligible uses of funds include expenses related to instruction that complements on-the-job learning.
For more information about the Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program and other economic development programs, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of the agency’s news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.