Governor Wolf Announces New Funding to Support PSU Behrend in Offering Northwestern PA Manufacturers with Latest Industry Technology Training

February 10, 2021

Governor Tom Wolf announced that the Pennsylvania State University Behrend in Erie County was approved for $200,000 in funding through Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing Training-to-Career program, a program that helps companies identify and train a skilled workforce through targeted programs and services.

The funding will allow Penn State Behrend to implement an Industry 4.0 Center of Excellence (COE), which will support regional manufacturers in adopting new methods and technologies to ensure that Pennsylvania remains a competitive player in the manufacturing industry nationally and globally.

“As the manufacturing industry continues to evolve, it’s critical that Pennsylvania stays up to speed with technology advancements. Our commonwealth is renowned for its manufacturing presence, and this funding will support Penn State Behrend’s investment into northwestern Pennsylvania’s manufacturing workforce,” said Gov. Wolf. “This training will ensure the region remains a key player, at the forefront of manufacturing advancements, in the state’s booming manufacturing industry.”

Industry 4.0 is the latest advancement in the manufacturing revolution—focused on digital manufacturing production enhanced by smart and autonomous systems fueled by data and machine learning.

Penn State Behrend’s Industry 4.0 COE will help regional manufacturers prosper through supportive training to integrate Industry 4.0 methodology into their operations.

Northwestern Pennsylvania manufacturers will be able to work with Penn State Behrend and the Industry 4.0 COE to increase efficacy of production processes and implement robotics, analysis tools, and data-driven decision making. Additionally, this training will support the industry in expanding a qualified labor force.

“Industry 4.0 is going to change the way Pennsylvania does business,” said Michelle Hartmann, Penn State Behrend director of Community and Workforce Programs. “This funding for an Industry 4.0 Center of Excellence will position the Erie region at the forefront of a new era for manufacturing, with new efficiencies through the use of robotics, data analytics and machine learning and new career paths that enable manufacturing workers to broaden their skills with these integrated technologies.”

Governor Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative was launched in October 2017, and since then has funded 48 projects and invested more than $9 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.

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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