$6.6 Million in PAsmart Apprentice Grants Announced

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In the Fall of 2017 the Governor’s Middle-Class Task Force presented its findings and Governor Wolf proposed the PAsmart initiative, a strategic approach to education and workforce development designed to better align education, workforce and economic development initiatives and funding. A key part of the finding were the need for apprenticeships not only in the skilled-trades but across industries.

On December 10, 2019 the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry (L&I) announced nearly $6.6 million in PAsmart Apprenticeship grants to help more workers “earn while they learn” and gain the hands-on skills for good jobs in high-growth industries. The funding is to assist applicants in either creating Registered Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship programs or to assist existing registered programs. L&I’s Apprentice and Training Office has been established to assist applicants in creating their programs and can provide examples of existing registered programs for reference.

While many students are looking for traditional higher education, there are other education and training options that can lead to family-sustaining wages and meaningful careers. Registered Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeships offer a pathway to a high-paying career and area a combination of on-the-job training coupled with job-related instruction. These registered programs offer a unique opportunity for collaboration between employers, training providers, workers and other partners.

In a time when the availability of skilled labor is at the forefront of many discussions throughout our community, programs including PAsmart and its Registered Apprenticeship & Pre-Apprenticeship offerings are valuable tools for our businesses.

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ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE FROM PA DEPT. OF LABOR & INDUSTRY

December 10, 2019: L&I Announces $6.6 Million in PAsmart Grants Available to Expand Apprenticeships 

Harrisburg, PA – As part of the Wolf administration’s efforts to expand job training opportunities, Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak today announced nearly $6.6 million in PAsmart Apprenticeship grants is available to help more workers “earn while they learn” and gain the hands-on skills for good jobs in high-growth industries.

“Building the strongest workforce in the nation requires strategic investments that generate more education and job training opportunities, like these new PAsmart grants,” said Secretary Oleksiak. “These grants support Governor Tom Wolf’s goal of doubling the number of registered apprentices in the commonwealth by 2025 by providing job seekers with the on-the-job training and credentials that they and their employers need to thrive.”

The apprenticeship grants are part of $40 million that Governor Wolf secured for PAsmart, an innovative education and workforce development initiative. L&I also recently announced that applications are being accepted for nearly $4.6 million in Next Generation Industry Partnership grants. The Department of Education is accepting applications for $20 million in PAsmart grants to increase K-12 computer science and technology education.

Apprenticeships help workers to learn skills while earning a paycheck. PAsmart Apprenticeship grants build a diverse talent pipeline into the building and construction trades; expand registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships in non-traditional industries with an emphasis on health care, manufacturing, and information technology; and support registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships through ambassador networks across the commonwealth.

Eligible applicants include organizations that serve as sponsors or intermediaries of registered apprenticeships including businesses, community-based organizations, economic development organizations, industry associations, labor organizations, local education agencies, local workforce development boards, nonprofit organizations, post-secondary institutions, public libraries, and STEM ecosystems.

Expanding apprenticeships is a priority for the Wolf Administration. The Apprenticeship and Training Office was created at L&I in 2016 and has registered 160 new program sponsors and 233 new apprenticeship programs or occupations, bringing the total number of registered apprentices to 18,366 statewide.

The deadline to apply is January 10, 2020.

Grant materials, requirements and information about the bidder’s webinars are available on DLI’s website. Visit PAsmart’s website to learn more about this initiative.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Penny Ickes or Theresa Elliott, 717-787-7530 or dlipress@pa.gov

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