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Governor Wolf Announces $2 Million in Business Education Partnership Grants for In-Demand Jobs

May 10, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today continued his commitment to providing students with educational opportunities and experiences in in-demand technical fields by announcing the award of $2 million in Business Education Partnership grants to 18 projects across the commonwealth.

“These funds will strengthen the ties between the classroom and the workplace, allowing students to explore potential careers and learn about the job skills needed to succeed in today’s workforce,” said Governor Wolf. “A global 21st century economy demands a technically skilled, well-prepared workforce and my administration is committed to helping our young people start out on the right foot to put them on a path to success.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) awarded the grants through Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) across Pennsylvania. The Business Education Partnerships connect schools and employers, so students can get internships, workplace shadowing, and career mentoring experiences to learn about the technical skills that employers require.

“Businesses are expanding in Pennsylvania and need skilled workers, which these grants help to provide,” said L&I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “Governor Wolf recognizes that developing opportunities for career awareness and students’ exposure to in-demand industries will result in a workforce of highly trained and skilled employees, which is why he has proposed PAsmart – $50 million in new funds to invest in workforce development.”

The new PAsmart workforce development proposal would improve coordination across commonwealth agencies and invest $7 million in apprenticeships, $25 million in STEM and computer science education, $10 million for innovative approaches to help students and workers get skills training for STEM and other in-demand careers, $5 million to employers and educators to partner on training, and $3 million to support Industry Partnerships.

Following is a list of Business Education Partnership grant winners and amounts awarded by LWDB:

Berks County Workforce Development Board – A $115,544 grant was awarded to employ an innovative multi-faceted approach to opening career choice opportunities to middle and high school students. By directly linking educators, employers, and workforce and economic development partners, the initiative will amplify and coordinate programs designed to educate and enhance Berks County K-12 teacher and student (and parent) awareness of exposure to diverse career opportunities in the Greater Berks County region.

Bucks County Workforce Development Board – A $94,532 grant was awarded to increase awareness and opportunities of middle and high school students, educators, and parents of high-priority careers and jobs-ready skills required in manufacturing, health care, and in-demand industries in Bucks County.

Central Workforce Development Board – A $100,000 grant was awarded to build the business and education ecosystem in Central Pennsylvania by supporting new opportunities to connect local businesses with school districts to promote job opportunities and career readiness.

Chester County Workforce Development Board – A $150,000 grant was awarded to connect employers, educators, and parents to innovative and inspiring activities, workshops and programs created to provide career awareness and readiness activities, designed to increase cognizance of in-demand technical careers to 1,200 Chester County students.

Lackawanna County Workforce Development Board – A $108,516 grant was awarded to reach approximately 4,000 intermediate and high school students and educators with emphasis on the provision of career information, including business representation presentations; instruction in employability and soft skills; strengthening community involvement; addressing math skill deficiencies; job shadowing; and business field trips/tours.

Lancaster County Workforce Development Board – An $85,700 grant was awarded to increase the scale of existing projects; increase exposure of parents, educators, and students to career and technical education opportunities; add new work-based learning options to the existing system; increase the connections between local school districts and the PA CareerLink® of Lancaster County; and work with specific local companies to build and strengthen business-education connections with Lancaster County school districts.

Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board – A $143,676 grant was awarded to establish a clearinghouse of best practices showcasing the Lehigh Valley’s participating K-14 educational focus on science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), computer technology, and work readiness, aligned to Pennsylvania’s Career Education and Work Standards.

Montgomery County Workforce Development Board – A $61,318 grant was awarded to provide the network, information and training relative to the implementation of Career Education Work Standards for participating schools/technical schools and their students, by involving the business community, parents, post-secondary institutions, and participating agencies.

North Central Workforce Development Board – A $128,803 grant was awarded to ensure that youth in the six-county region are aware of the career opportunities in the area and understand the education and skills needs, while increasing the region’s outreach to additional community partners and students.

Northern Tier Workforce Development Board – A $138,434 grant was awarded to enable students to make informed career choices to succeed through a combination of career-focused education and interaction with employers, while leveraging Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Youth Committee, PA CareerLink® and other funding wherever applicable.

Philadelphia Works Workforce Development Board – A $99,923 grant was awarded to connect 20 manufacturing career and technical education high school seniors to one-day-a-week internships for a period of seven months and enhance learning opportunities for the interns through monthly professional development. The project will provide counselling to the interns on their individual school-to-employment or post-secondary education transition plan in concert with the employers and the district, and will successfully transition 18-20 students through graduation to either pre-apprenticeship, vocational skills training, employment, and/or postsecondary education opportunities.

South Central Workforce Development Board – A $128,550 grant was awarded to bring together the existing Intermediary Organizations within SCPaWorks’ eight-county region to create a strong foundation network for career planning for youth to share their experiences and best practices, to strengthen each partner’s program and to create a career planning partnership mode for new start up programs within the region.

Southern Alleghenies Workforce Development Board – A $70,373 grant was awarded to enhance student career awareness and understanding of the local labor market through innovative activities designed to increase work readiness skills and awareness of high priority careers in Southern Alleghenies Workforce Region, through partnership and collaboration with the education/business community.

Southwest Corner Workforce Development Board – A $100,000 grant was awarded to support the commonwealth’s efforts to define and implement strategies that will increase the quality and scope of career preparation activities available to Pennsylvania youth, to strengthen partnerships with all high schools and career and technology centers represented in the local workforce development area, and to link youth, educators, partners, employers and community partners together to develop a streamlined and useful network of information and services.

Tri-County Workforce Development Board – A $179,663 grant was awarded to connect schools, employers, parents, and students to provide career-related experiences and opportunities through employer tours, summer camps, workplace shadowing, and career mentoring.

Three Rivers Workforce Development Board – An $85,700 grant was awarded to augment existing partnerships between businesses, schools, and community partners to provide an alternative to the college-for-all mentality and a talent pipeline into entry-level career track jobs at local businesses, including PNC Bank, FedEx, and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC); to create a career track for students interested in the medical field through a comprehensive partnership with career and technology centers, Community College of Allegheny County and UPMC; and to increase early career exploration for current CTE students and expand awareness to ninth grade students and below through Career Symposia.

West Central Workforce Development Board – A $100,000 grant was awarded to convene local partners to provide career awareness services and activities to high school students and connect them to work-based learning opportunities with local employers. The grant is expected to provide direct services to more than 1,000 high school students.

Westmoreland/Fayette Workforce Development Board – A $109,268 grant was awarded to expand the Business-Education Partnership that improves education and enhances business competitiveness. The project will support the development of a Work and Learn Model Continuum that prepares high school students for career and post-secondary education through work-based learning opportunities; support K-12 career awareness activities for students, teachers, and parents; and serve 700 K-12 students in Westmoreland and Fayette counties.

For more information and detailed summaries of the funded projects, visit the L&I website.

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

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