HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf has announced awards totaling more than $4.9 million for 14 Pennsylvania apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs within the building and construction trades.
“Throughout history, apprenticeships have been a vital part of career education in certain fields,” Governor Wolf said. “Through these important grants, we are offering more Pennsylvania workers opportunities to train for family-sustaining jobs while helping businesses develop a workforce that will strengthen our economy and the communities most in need.”
Each of the 14 potential or currently registered apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship programs will use this grant funding to develop diverse talent pipelines, reach underrepresented populations, and expand workforce development opportunities across 55 counties in Pennsylvania.
“Apprenticeship offers workers the opportunity to advance their careers while earning a paycheck, and it empowers employers to develop the specific skills they need among their employees to be successful in a dynamic economy. We need to make sure this workforce development model is accessible to workers of all backgrounds,” Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier said. “Giving all Pennsylvanians the opportunity to earn wages while learning in-demand skills is a major step toward achieving diversity, equity and inclusion among the commonwealth’s workforce.”
The grants, offered through L&I’s Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO), are part of Governor Wolf’s PA Statewide Movement for Accountability, Readiness and Training (PAsmart) framework, created to better align education, workforce and economic development initiatives and funding.
Established in 2016, the ATO works to support and expand registered apprenticeship programs statewide. The office provides outreach, education and technical support to current and prospective apprenticeship program sponsors and apprentices and aims to extend the apprenticeship model to non-traditional occupations. The ATO currently supports more than 17,000 active apprentices, more than 1,500 active occupation-specific apprenticeships and 94 occupation-specific pre-apprenticeship programs around the commonwealth.
The Wolf Administration designed this grant opportunity in anticipation of increased employment opportunities within the building and construction trades as a result of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law by President Biden in November 2021.
Of the 14 PAsmart grant recipients, four are focused on apprenticeship programs, nine are focused on pre-apprenticeship programs, and one project focuses on both. The grant recipients, including five with union affiliations, have designed new or built upon existing apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship programs within the building and construction trades that serve underrepresented populations, including women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, veterans, socio-economic disadvantaged individuals, individuals who speak English as a second language, individuals who were previously incarcerated, or individuals experiencing multiple barriers to employment.
Local grantees include:
Insulators Local 23 Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee | $264,981
ADAMS, BERKS, CENTRE, CUMBERLAND, DAUPHIN, FRANKLIN, FULTON, HUNTINGDON, JUNIATA, LANCASTER, LEBANON, LEHIGH, MIFFLIN, NORTHAMPTON, PERRY, SCHUYLKILL, SNYDER AND YORK COUNTIES
Insulators Local 23 Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee will grow their registered apprenticeship training program and work toward establishing a pre-apprenticeship program.