Governor Wolf Announces New Student Apprenticeship Opportunities with the School District of Philadelphia

June 19, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Wolf announced the approval of an apprenticeship grant to the School District of Philadelphia to assist with the costs of its apprenticeship program for plumbers and electricians, enabling the district to strengthen its apprenticeship programs and put career and technical education students on career pathways within the school district. The funding will build on the governor’s commitment to expanding job training opportunities for Pennsylvanians.

“Apprenticeship programs like the School District of Philadelphia’s are vital tools for empowering workers,” Governor Wolf said. “This program in particular is so innovative because it addresses the needs of both students and the school district. Most importantly, it strengthens the local workforce and puts students on good-paying career pathways in the trades.”

The grant will provide $45,000 over three years to support the School District of Philadelphia’s apprenticeship program to train plumbers and electricians. The goal of the program is to train students in skilled trades and then employ them within the school district once fully trained. This not only puts students on good-paying, reliable career pathways, but it also enables the school district to address its vacant maintenance positions across the district and increase its effectiveness in addressing critical repairs. Apprentices are required to complete 8,000 hours on-the-job training and 576 hours of classroom training over a 4-year period. Upon completion of the program, apprentices will become certified mechanics of their trade and are guaranteed full-time employment with the School District of Philadelphia. This funding will support the training of three electrician apprentices and two plumber apprentices.

“This grant will help support the training and development of our Maintenance Apprenticeship Program, putting our graduates on a path to steady employment right here within the School District,” said Dr. William R. Hite, superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia. “It further enables us to build and retain a sustainable workforce of highly-needed, trained employees, and supports our mission to provide strong school-facing support and customer service. We appreciate the support from the Wolf Administration as we work to strengthen this important program and enhance opportunities for graduates.”

Apprenticeships are a key component of Governor Wolf’s PAsmart proposal designed to strengthen Pennsylvania’s workforce. As part of the governor’s 2018-2019 budget proposal, PAsmart would improve coordination across commonwealth agencies and invest $50 million to improve access for Pennsylvania students and workers to education, training, and career readiness programs. That investment includes an additional $7 million to support apprenticeships, with the goal of doubling the number of registered apprentices in Pennsylvania by 2025. Working collaboratively with the business community, community colleges, and other higher education providers, funds will support youth pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship experiences as well as adult apprenticeship programs at the postsecondary level.

PAsmart would also build on the Wolf Administration’s Apprenticeship Training Office (ATO) which the administration established in 2016 to support and expand registered apprenticeship programs statewide. Since the ATO was created in early 2016, the office has registered 107 new sponsors and 149 new apprenticeship programs or occupations, bringing the total number of registered apprentices to 15,476 statewide.

For more information about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to workforce development, visit the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) website or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

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