Governor Wolf: $17.5 Million in Grants Will Help Workers Learn New Skills, Get In-Demand Jobs

September 26, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today continued his commitment to providing individuals with the training they need to succeed in the 21st century economy by announcing more than $17.5 million in federal grant funding to boost job skills and provide other support services for dislocated workers in Pennsylvania.

“I believe strongly in the importance of investing in our workers’ success by helping them increase their skills and get the good jobs they need to sustain their families,” said Governor Wolf. “The result of these targeted investments is truly a win-win for everyone, as it also provides businesses with the skilled workforce they need to thrive in our global economy.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) was awarded an $8 million Trade and Economic Transition Dislocated Worker Grant that will primarily be used to help individuals who have lost their jobs in the retail and hospitality industries. The grant will fund the full costs of skills training and associated needs, like child care, to help dislocated workers get in-demand jobs.

“We plan to serve individuals holistically, giving them the best opportunity to achieve higher skill levels and earn a good, family-sustaining wage,” said L&I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “As part of this grant, L&I is going to train dislocated workers to acquire the skills that will transcend multiple industries, rather than just focusing on one specific skillset or sector. This approach will provide countless more opportunities for dislocated workers in Pennsylvanian.”

L&I is partnering with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) to identify individuals in their SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) programs that would be eligible to receive job skills training as part of the grant award.

“As the Wolf Administration works towards expanding employment opportunities for all Pennsylvanians, we know that barriers exist that prevent people from finding a better job. Access to child care, transportation, and their ability to access necessary training and education may prevent someone from seeking a better opportunity,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “This funding will help us address some of those barriers and get more Pennsylvanians into enriching, family-sustaining jobs.”

In addition to the L&I grant award, two local workforce development boards also received funding:

  • $1.7 million to the Bucks County Workforce Development Board to provide training and work-based learning opportunities to dislocated workers in Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties – specifically in Manufacturing and Information Technology, which account for more than 50 percent of the Gross Regional Product of the area.
  • $7.8 million to the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board to help coordinate and implement a regional strategy to recruit mature workers that have experienced a dislocation in sectors negatively impacted by technology and automation and to train these workers for occupations in Health Care, Transportation and Logistics, Information Technology, Financial Services, and Advanced Manufacturing.

Governor Wolf is committed to investing in workforce development. His PAsmart initiative is a first-of-its-kind $30 million investment that creates new opportunities for workers to help them prepare for the in-demand middle class jobs of today and the future.

Recently, the governor signed an executive order to cut red tape and improve coordination between several state agencies to more effectively deliver workforce development services to Pennsylvanians. Under the executive order, the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board, the governor’s private sector policy advisor, will provide recommendations on the distribution of the $30 million in PAsmart funding, which will be driven out through competitive grants. This collaboration will help to ensure the investments meet employers’ need for skilled workers and that workers are gaining the skills for good, middle-class jobs that will grow Pennsylvania’s economy.

For more information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit PAsmart.

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