Governor Wolf Announces New Funding to Support Manufacturing Industry Training in the Lehigh Valley

January 07, 2022

Governor Tom Wolf today announced new funding is being awarded to Northampton Community College (NCC) to develop a Pathways to Manufacturing program for low-income individuals, veterans, and others in the Lehigh Valley.

“The commonwealth recognizes the need for strong, entry-level talent in the manufacturing industry,” said Gov. Wolf. “Northampton Community College’s Pathways to Manufacturing program will get well-trained candidates out in the workforce quickly. My administration is pleased to support this program that will pair good, steady jobs with those who need them.”

Northampton Community College was awarded $199,125 through the Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Grant program to implement Pathways to Manufacturing, a seven-week, 150-hour program that will introduce manufacturing occupations to low-income individuals, individuals who are basic skills deficient, veterans, and out-of-school youth who are unsure of their post-graduation plans or have had to change those plans due to the pandemic.

“Our Workforce Development team at Northampton Community College is delighted to have received the funding to continue to deliver our ever-evolving manufacturing training programs that target out-of-school youth and career changers in the midst of the COVID pandemic,” said Michele Salkin, Northampton Community College Program Manager, Workforce Development. “These programs have been developed based on robust and current input from our local manufacturing employers regarding what they need in the way of hands-on skills and the employability skills so necessary to allow new hires to succeed and grow their careers long-term.”

The program will serve 40 students. Those students who complete the program are expected to obtain entry-level employment in manufacturing or continue their education at a post-secondary institution.

Pathways to Manufacturing is a shorter, introductory program that responds to the need for entry-level manufacturing workers. It recruits students who have had limited exposure to basic processes in manufacturing and the diversity of manufacturing careers.

Governor Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative was launched in October 2017, and since then has funded 59 projects and invested more than $13.7 million through the Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Grant 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 Grant 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 website.

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