Governor Wolf Extends Technology Education, Apprenticeships, and Job Training Opportunities through $30 Million in PAsmart Grants

November 02, 2018

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Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today launched the next phase of his new and innovative PAsmart initiative by announcing that $30 million in grants are available to invest in K-12 computer science and STEM education, expand registered apprenticeships, and support job training with Industry Partnership programs.

“With PAsmart, Pennsylvania will have the most prepared and talented workforce in the country, which will help businesses succeed, grow the middle class, and strengthen the economy for everyone,” said Governor Wolf. “We are partnering with private industry and schools to strategically invest in science and technology education, expand apprenticeships and increase on-the-job training for good careers.”

PAsmart is built on recommendations of Governor Wolf’s Middle Class Task Force, comprised of business, labor, education, and workforce development leaders. The task force concluded there are jobs without trained people to fill them and some workers need new skills, but a four-year degree is not for everyone and a one-size fits-all approach will not work.

In response to the task force’s findings, the governor secured $30 million to strategically invest in education and workforce development with competitive grants to enhance the skills of Pennsylvania workers. The Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board, the governor’s private sector policy advisor, provided recommendations and approved the framework for the funding priorities.

The competitive grants will expand classroom instruction and professional development in the fast-growing fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and computer science (CS), as well as training for in-demand careers, emerging industries, and underserved populations.

Computer Science and STEM education grants: $20 million
Over the next decade, seven in 10 new jobs in Pennsylvania will require workers to use a computer and an estimated 300,000 STEM jobs will be available in the commonwealth this year. Already among the nation’s best in STEM education, PAsmart provides competitive grants to bring high-quality STEM and CS education to classrooms in elementary, middle, and high schools, and professional development for teachers. With this commitment, Pennsylvania now ranks second in the country for investments in K-12 STEM and computer science.

PAsmart provides $20 million to increase access to STEM and computer science education for Pennsylvania students, with an emphasis on girls, minorities, and other underserved students.

View frequently asked questions about PAsmart grants.

PAsmart computer science and STEM grant resources:

Applications for target grants are due by December 14, 2018 and advancing grants are due December 28, 2018.

Registered Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeships grants: $7 million
Registered apprenticeships provide hands-on experience for students and workers to gain skills for employment or advance their careers while earning a paycheck from their employer. The Department of Labor & Industry launched the Apprenticeship and Training Office in 2016 to support and expand registered apprenticeship programs. Since then, the number of registered apprentices has increased by 26 percent to 16,832.

PAsmart invests $7 million to develop and expand registered apprenticeships and support industry’s need for more skilled workers.

PAsmart apprenticeship grant resources:

Applications for all Apprenticeship Grants are due by December 21, 2018.

Industry Partnerships grants: $3 million
Pennsylvania’s Industry Partnerships program brings together workers and multiple employers in the same industry along with local economic development, education, workforce development, and community organizations to provide worker training. These highly successful
public-private partnerships cluster similar employers to enhance the regional workforce and economy.

PAsmart provides a $3 million increase for Industry Partnership grants, for a total investment of $4.6 million.

PAsmart Industry Partnership grant resources:

Applications for Industry Partnership grants are due by December 14, 2018.

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