Governor Wolf Highlights PAsmart Workforce Proposal at Monroe Career and Technical Institute

April 27, 2018

Bartonsville, PA – Governor Tom Wolf joined state Rep. Maureen Madden and local officials today to announce a $510,000 grant for the Monroe Career and Technical Institute (MCTI) and discuss his first-of-its-kind PAsmart proposal to invest in a highly skilled workforce for the 21st century economy.

“This is an investment in the workers and the economy of Monroe, Pike, and Northampton counties.” said Governor Wolf. “This targeted funding will give students the opportunity to learn on cutting edge equipment and expand training opportunities that will ultimately help thousands of people get the skills for good-paying careers in this community.

“Businesses are expanding in Pennsylvania and they need skilled workers. MCTI is helping to meet that demand and is an example of why I’m proposing PAsmart to make a strategic investment in skills training.”

The grant will provide funding for MCTI to expand job training and replace aging welding equipment with state-of-the-art technology to improve safety and enhance the skills of students as they earn industry recognized certifications. MCTI’s welding program operates 14 hours a day, five days a week. An average of 55 adults and 40 high school students complete the welding program each year.

“This is incredible news for our students, faculty, and community,” said state Rep. Maureen Madden. “I applaud Gov. Wolf for recognizing the importance of investing in MCTI, an institution that has been offering career training to the residents of Monroe, Pike, and Northampton counties since 1972. This grant will ensure high school students and adults are educated and graduate from one of the most state-of-the-art facilities, right here, at a time when it’s vitally important to make investments in education and workforce development.”

“MCTI is ecstatic to be the recipient of this $510,000.00 grant for our welding program,” said Dennis Virga, acting director of MCTI. “Students of both our high school and adult continuing-education classes will benefit greatly from the purchase of new equipment and upgrades to the welding lab. Additionally, the money will afford training to our adult community in automotive technology, construction trades, culinary arts, health occupations and welding.”

Governor Wolf proposed PAsmart after hearing from workers and businesses about the need to close the skills gap and prepare students and workers for the jobs that employers need to fill.

Part of the governor’s 2018-19 budget proposal, PAsmart would invest $50 million to help workers get the skills and education for jobs in growing industries.

The $50 million would be targeted with competitive grants:

  • $25 million to expand STEM and computer science education
  • $10 million to help students and adults get work skills and credentials with In-demand job through career and technical education.
  • $5 million to encourage employer involvement in job training.
  • $7 million to expand apprenticeships
  • $3 million for Industry Partnerships which help employers partner to provide job training

Governor Wolf has set a goal for 60 percent of Pennsylvanians to have some form of post-secondary education or training by 2025.

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