Governor Announces New Funding to Boost Manufacturing Awareness for Students in Lancaster and Lehigh Counties
March 04, 2021
Governor Tom Wolf announced new funding for two projects that will boost manufacturing awareness for students in Lancaster and Lehigh counties through Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing Training-to-Career program, a program that helps bring awareness to careers and opportunities within the state’s manufacturing industry and supports companies in identifying and training a skilled workforce through targeted programs and service.
“Pennsylvania is renowned for its manufacturing industry, which has advanced and grown tremendously over the past several decades, which means there is an increasing need for new technology and a workforce to support its growth. For young students who have limited knowledge about manufacturing or who are still undecided on their future plans, increased and early awareness programs like this can be a major turning point,” said Gov. Wolf. “This funding will promote manufacturing careers and support and prepare students throughout the process of training and obtaining employment.”
Lancaster County Career and Technology Foundation (LCCTF) in Lancaster County was approved for $187,000 in funding. The funding will allow LCCTF, in partnership with volunteer committee LancasterMakes, to engage middle school students and increase awareness of manufacturing careers before students begin choosing high school pathways. LancasterMakes will acquire professional services to support fundraising and marketing efforts and to increase participation availability for Manufacturing Day. The foundation aims to grow participation to 100 host companies and 5,000 host students by 2022. Funding will also support advertising, web site development, creation of virtual tours and videos, and necessary class equipment.
“On behalf of the LancasterMakes committee, the LCCTF is extremely honored to be awarded this grant to expand on our efforts of creating career exploration events and public awareness of Lancaster’s high priority trade and technical occupations,” said LCCTF Executive Director Jennifer Baker. “Our goal is to reach every middle schooler in Lancaster County to provide them with knowledge and experiences of the many career pathways in manufacturing. This project will also allow us to strengthen partnerships with our local manufacturing businesses and provide them with opportunity to meet and engage with the county’s future workforce.”
The Manufacturers Resource Center in Lehigh County was approved for $192,500 in funding to develop two programs to respond to the manufacturing industry’s technological innovation and subsequent need for workers with a broader set of technical competencies. The funding will allow the Manufacturers Resource Center to develop the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) program and the PA Dream Team program to engage and recruit potential future employees and provide on-the-job training following graduation. The STEAM program will work with five local high schools and 10 local manufacturers and the PA Dream Team program will work with 12 local manufacturers in two pilot programs.
“MRC is eager to develop a program that gives high school students the opportunity to collaborate with area manufacturers and get the word out to graduating seniors about lucrative careers in advanced technology through the STEAM Club initiative,” said MRC Manager of Workforce Initiatives Karen Buck. “MRC is also honored about the administration’s commitment to expand the PA Dream Team program, where young professionals from area manufacturers are trained to share their career stories to K-12 students through presentations and project-based activities.”
Governor Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative was launched in October 2017, and since then has funded 52 projects and invested nearly $11.4 million through the Training-to-Career program. Training-to-Career grants support projects that result in short-term work-readiness, job placement, or the advancement of manufacturing. The Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career 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, visit the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) website or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.