Governor Wolf Announces Funding to Expand International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Apprenticeship Programs in the Lehigh Valley
August 14, 2018
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced new funding for the acquisition and renovation of a property located at 101 S. Seventh St., Allentown, to turn it into a lab space enabling the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) to expand their apprenticeship programs, strengthening the local workforce.
“One of the goals of my PAsmart initiative is to invest in apprenticeships, which offer rewarding careers for Pennsylvanians in a number of skilled trades,” Governor Wolf said. “This funding will help expand the IBEW’s apprenticeship program, providing opportunities for new labs and classrooms to train the next generation of electrical workers.”
IBEW Local Union No. 375 was awarded $1 million for acquisition and renovation of the nearly 35,000-square-foot building. The renovations will result in new offices, meeting space, classrooms and electric labs for training the next generation of electricians. Renovation work includes new entrances, new roofing, interior partitions, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing improvements. Additionally, the project includes ADA upgrades and improvements to the entire streetscape, including new trees, sidewalks and curbing.
“An important part of a healthy and growing economy is the availability of a qualified and skilled workforce,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne. “This RACP for IBEW 375 for renovations to expand its training and apprenticeship programs at its new headquarters in downtown Allentown will help ensure electrical workers entering the job market have the necessary training and skills to perform work that is both high-quality and extremely safe. Working with my colleagues and the governor, providing financial support to attract employers and employees to the Lehigh Valley and across Pennsylvania and make sure they receive proper training is a critical investment for the fiscal success of the Commonwealth.”
The newly-purchased and renovated building will enable the IBEW to expand the number of apprentices accepted into the program and trained annually. The expanded training classes will lead to more skilled electrical workers, providing workers with family-sustaining jobs and giving local manufacturers a greater talent pool from which to hire.
“Location matters. IBEW has a great history of training the next generation of tradespeople. By locating their new facility in our urban core, IBEW is ensuring that all folks will have an opportunity to access these great family sustaining jobs,” said Rep. Peter Schweyer.
“The modern job is one that requires training and skills,” said Rep. Mike Schlossberg. “Our friends at the IBEW have been promoting high wage, high skill jobs for decades. I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues in the legislature and the governor’s office to help make this project a reality.”
Supported through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) program, funding will support critical expansion projects, some of which will provide opportunities for additional economic development.