Governor Wolf: PAsmart is Expanding Apprenticeships from Plumbing to Early Childhood Education Careers

October 31, 2019

Hershey, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today spoke at the 2019 Pennsylvania Apprenticeship Summit to highlight how his PAsmart initiative is preparing more workers with on-the-job training for many good jobs in a wide variety of careers and providing businesses with a skilled workforce to thrive in Pennsylvania.

“Businesses are hiring, and many employees are retiring out of the workforce, creating strong demand for skilled workers in Pennsylvania,” said Governor Wolf. “My PAsmart initiative is investing in education and job training so workers are prepared for good, well-paying jobs in a variety of careers.”

Apprenticeships are part of the governor’s PAsmart initiative to create the strongest workforce in the nation. The governor secured $70 million for PAsmart over two years, including $40 million for science and technology education and $30 million for apprenticeships and job training programs.

“Apprenticeship programs are an effective way to train and retain workers because they create a more productive, diverse, and skilled workforce, and help reduce employee turnover,” said Governor Wolf. “Apprentices are able to provide for their families by earning a good living while learning new skills.”

Apprenticeship opportunities are available in traditional industries such as machining, carpentry, HVAC, and plumbing, as well as non-traditional industries, including mental health services, human services, early childhood education, scientific research, and information technology.

In the first year of PAsmart, the Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) awarded grants to 59 pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship programs. PAsmart also invests in Pennsylvania’s nationally leading Next Generation Industry Partnerships, which create collaboration among businesses to improve the training for their workforce.

Other workforce development accomplishments under Governor Wolf include:

• Increasing the number of apprentices in Pennsylvania to more than 18,000;
• Increasing the number of career and technical education (CTE) students earning industry-recognized credentials by 34.2 percent;
• Increasing the number of credentials earned by students enrolled in CTE programs by 27.2 percent;
• Advancing Pennsylvania to third in the nation in the number of nationally recognized STEM ecosystems and making the commonwealth the fifth largest producer of STEM graduates; and
• Approving more than $4 million in funding through the new Manufacturing PA initiative for nine new training programs across Pennsylvania to give more than 340 job seekers the skills they need to secure a stable, high-paying job in manufacturing.

Governor Wolf has set a goal of increasing the number of workers with training after high school from 47 percent to 60 percent by 2025.

The 2019 Apprenticeship Summit, hosted by L&I’s Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO), provided opportunities for attendees to learn about developing apprenticeship ambassadors and networks to sponsor, develop, and support registered apprenticeship programs as a career path and workforce development initiative in their region.

The Wolf Administration created the ATO in 2016. Since then, the office has registered 156 new program sponsors and 223 new apprenticeship programs or occupations, bringing the total number of registered apprentices to 18,187 statewide.

Apprenticeship programs approved by the ATO provide job seekers with increased skills, and a nationally recognized credential to support future career advancement and increased wages.

Visit the Apprenticeship and Training Office for more information about apprenticeship programs.

For more information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit PAsmart.

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