Governor Wolf Announces $200,000 Investment for Job Training with Manufacturers in Southwestern PA

May 18, 2021

Governor Tom Wolf announced $200,000 in funding for Catalyst Connection, through Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing Training-to-Career (MTTC) program, to develop the Essential Skills for Manufacturing (ESM) entry-level training program supporting the expansion and hiring needs of small- and medium-sized manufacturers in southwestern Pennsylvania.

“My administration is focused on eliminating barriers to good-paying jobs and creating pathways to connect job seekers with permanent employment,” said Gov. Wolf. “The new funding announced today will help entry-level workers gain the critical skills they need, allow them to engage directly with employers, and help them grow into their future careers.”

MTTC 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.

Through the “Making Your Future Skills Essential” ESM program, 10 employers will engage with 20 trainees to provide career awareness and pre-employment training for job seekers in communities near the partner employers. Program content will be based on real-time feedback from employers regarding their requirements for entry-level skills, with no prior work experience. The curriculum will be compiled from existing training modules, with additional new content developed based on employer needs, and will be delivered via an existing Learning Management System (LMS). Internships will be offered to the job seekers that demonstrate the motivation and desire to gain the basic skills required as well as the on-the-job training that will ultimately prepare them for permanent, family-sustaining jobs in advanced manufacturing. The program will ultimately place 20 interns and create 40 jobs.

“The ESM training program addresses a critical need of employers for workers that have the desire to expand their basic employability and mechanical aptitude skills,” said Petra Mitchell, President and CEO of Catalyst Connection. “We are grateful to the MTTC program for enabling Catalyst Connection to augment our portfolio of workforce development programs to include this new training and enhance our support for manufacturing in our community.”

Governor Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative was launched in October 2017, and since then has funded 54 projects and invested more than $11.7 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.

Catalyst Connection is a private not-for-profit organization headquartered in Pittsburgh that provides consulting and training services to small manufacturers in southwestern Pennsylvania, accelerating revenue growth and improving productivity. Through active collaboration with clients and the manufacturing community, they contribute to the growth, vibrancy, and ongoing robustness of manufacturing in the region.

Catalyst Connection is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

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.

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