Weekly Update: Revitalizing Infrastructure, Expanding Pennsylvania’s Workforce, and Enhancing Learning in Schools

By: The Office of Governor Tom Wolf

March 12, 2018

Winter Storm
Last week, Governor Tom Wolf announced a State of Emergency through an existing Disaster Declaration Proclamation as well as several preparedness efforts as the commonwealth faced two winter storms. The governor worked with multiple state entities including the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, PennDOT, State Police, the Turnpike Commission, and the Pennsylvania National Guard to ensure the safety of all Pennsylvanians.

“We are working with state agency partners to make sure county emergency management coordinators have quick and unfettered access to state resources as they’re needed,” said Governor Wolf said. “We also cannot emphasize enough the need for the public to take these storm warnings seriously, stay tuned to local media for weather updates, and avoid any unnecessary travel.”

Governor Wolf also thanked our first responders, emergency managers, transportation and utility workers, and state and local officials, who have worked around the clock to help their neighbors and keep people safe during the storms.

Workforce Development
Last Monday, Governor Wolf continued to expand his commitment to job and skills training when he announced $1.2 million to expand training for students. The Pennsylvania Department of Education is awarding these grants to 38 school districts, career and technical centers, and area vocational technical education schools.

The governor also outlined his plans for PAsmart during a tour of New Century Careers in Southwestern Pennsylvania on Friday. PAsmart is a new workforce development initiative that helps connect Pennsylvanians with resources for working and training in the commonwealth.

“Businesses are growing in Pennsylvania, but they need more skilled workers,” said Governor Wolf. “Not every student wants to go to a four-year college, but they will need the hands-on experience technical education schools are providing to help students and workers get good-paying Pennsylvania jobs, both now and in the future.”

The governor also announced two new apprenticeship programs through the Department of Labor & Industry’s Apprenticeship and Training Office in Dauphin and Lancaster counties.

Governor Wolf joined with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Leslie Richards on Monday to highlight transportation investments for the 2018 construction season. Around 146 highway and bridge projects are anticipated to begin or continue in the southwest region alone. To see a full list of PennDOT’s four and twelve year plans, click here.

“We have improved thousands of roadway miles and bridges in recent years and that progress will continue this year,” Governor Wolf said of today’s announcement. “While we advance these much-needed projects, I have also committed more investment to rural and local infrastructure.”

The governor also announced on Friday that construction will begin on Monday, March 26, on seven structurally deficient bridges in the southeast. This will include construction on the oldest bridge still in use in the United States.

Breakfast in Schools
On Thursday, Governor Wolf announced that $900,000 in mini-grants are available to schools to start or expand alternative breakfast programs.

“Students who start the day with a healthy breakfast are ready to focus and learn,” said Governor Wolf. “Expanding access to school breakfast is an effective way to positively impact the lives and performance of individual students, as well as improve the overall climate in schools and classrooms.”

Governor Wolf’s Week, March 4, 2018 – March 10, 2018

Monday, 3/5/18
Tuesday, 3/6/18
Wednesday, 3/7/18
Thursday, 3/8/18
Friday, 3/9/18

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