Governor Wolf Tours District 1199C Breslin Learning Center, Discusses Apprenticeships as Career Pathways
April 03, 2017
Philadelphia, PA – Today, Governor Wolf visited the District 1199C Training & Operating Fund’s Breslin Learning Center to experience how the center links classroom training with real health care jobs that take low- and middle-wage workers onto a career path of success. Following the tour, Governor Wolf hosted a roundtable discussion on apprenticeships with students, employers, and community partners.
“Apprenticeship programs such as the ones at District 1199C are providing access to career pathways in healthcare and human services for incumbent workers and job seekers through education, training and work-based learning,” Governor Wolf said. “What better way to connect people to jobs that pay than integrating employer needs with worker training.”
District 1199C’s founding principles, in place since its inception in 1974, focus on the very core of apprenticeships: meeting the needs of workers and employers, a commitment to lifelong learning and a career path, and work-based education, or earn-while-you-learn.
The Learning Center’s focus on health care is particularly important as Pennsylvania’s population ages and there is an increased need for in-home caregivers, nurses’ aides and nurses, among other health care workers.
“Much like 1199C, I see the need for aligning workforce programs, including apprenticeships, with the needs of employers,” Governor Wolf said. “That is why I have included an apprenticeship grant program in my 2017-18 budget.
Funded with revenue recovered by the Department of Community and Economic Development from companies that fail to live up to previous commitments made when they received state assistance, businesses can seek grant funding of up to $2,000 for each apprentice employed pursuant to an apprenticeship agreement registered with the Office of Apprenticeship in the United States Department of Labor.
The grant program – both for those leaving the K-12 education system and those transitioning into a new industry sector – can receive training aligned to business workforce needs, so workers are not training just to train, but have a job, a career path established.
“District 1199C is pleased to welcome Governor Wolf to its Breslin Learning Center today,” Henry Nicholas, president of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, AFSCME, and chairman of the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund said. “The governor understands the importance of apprenticeships as a strong and solid career pathway into a secure future for low-wage workers. It was a pleasure to show off our health care training facility and for Governor Wolf to meet some of our student apprentices.”
Created in 1974 by collective bargaining agreements between District 1199C of the National Union of Hospital & Health Care Employees (NUHHCE) and 11 Philadelphia hospitals, the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund has grown to include more than 50 acute care hospitals, long term care and behavioral health facilities, and homecare agencies. A uniquely designed labor management partnership, the Training Fund broke new ground at its founding with a commitment to serve both union members and the community – a commitment it has honored and grown over the last four decades, serving more than 100,000 Delaware Valley students.
Today, the Training Fund serves over 4,000 students annually at the 35,000-square foot Breslin Learning Center in Center City Philadelphia. The Training Fund’s student-centered approach to education and training incorporates individualized career coaching and case management to help individuals obtain the educational credentials and professional certifications they will need to achieve their academic and career goals.