On Monday, Gov. Tom Wolf announced nearly $4.7 million in PAsmart Next Generation Industry Partnership grants were awarded to bolster workforce development across Pennsylvania.

Among the grant winners were three partnerships in North Central Pennsylvania. They are:

North Central PA Building and Construction Next Gen Sector Partnership (Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, and Potter – $214,424)

This partnership launched in May 2019 and has engaged with multiple employers, economic development agencies, and educational representatives. The partnership’s priorities include educating pre-high school students on trades and skilled-labor occupations through co-op work experiences and businesses partnering with educational partners to increase career awareness.

North Central PA Healthcare and Social Assistance Next Gen Sector Partnership (Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, and Potter – $213,222)

This partnership launched in May 2019 after convening employers, economic development partners, and educational representatives. Action teams were formed around the priorities of increasing technology to attract younger workers, educating younger individuals around advancements in healthcare opportunities, and overall improvements in recruitment and retention of employees.

North Central PA Manufacturing Next Gen Sector Partnership (Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, and Potter – $244,444)

In May 2019 this partnership transitioned to a Next Generation Industry Partnership through a launch that included businesses and public partners. Business driven priorities for this partnership include promotion of the manufacturing industry and employment opportunities within the industry, the implementation of a signing day for students participating in co-op programs, and the development of technical training for employers, including creation of one-stop resources for employers and guidance on how to develop registered pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs.

“Employers need skilled workers now more than ever,” said Wolf. “My administration created PAsmart to help close the skills gap and allow more people to get the education and training they need to get better paying jobs. Strengthening job and skills training continues to be a priority and the 28 grants announced (Monday) further enhances that goal.”

The Next Generation Industry Partnership grants bring together multiple employers in the same industry to collectively provide targeted job training so that students, workers, and job seekers get the skills for good jobs in those industries.

“Programs like the Next Generation Industry Partnership are helping Pennsylvania be at the forefront of the economic changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Department of Labor & Industry Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier. “By aligning businesses in the same industry to create training programs, we can provide Pennsylvania workers with the skills they need for today’s job opportunities while helping multiple businesses develop a strong candidate pool.”

This funding is in addition to $6.5 million in PAsmart grants awarded to expand apprenticeship job training. Those grants support registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship through ambassador networks, build a diverse talent pipeline while expanding non-traditional registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships and build diversity within the construction and building trades.

For more information, visit www.dli.pa.gov/Businesses/Workforce-Development/grants/Pages/PAsmartgrants2019.aspx

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