Governor Tom Wolf today announced awards of more than $2.5 million in Schools-to-Work grants to 12 Pennsylvania programs designed to prepare students for the workforce through classroom training, workplace visits, internships, apprenticeships, mentorships, employment opportunities, job shadowing, externships and more.
“The Schools-to-Work grants provide students with real-world learning opportunities including apprenticeships and internships that will help build solid career paths to employment or secondary education,” Governor Wolf said. “The funds will help Pennsylvania workers obtain the skills and industry-recognized credentials or college credits needed to create a pipeline of highly skilled employees to meet current and future labor market needs.”
Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier said the commonwealth’s economic future depends on developing and maintaining a well-educated and highly trained workforce.
“By investing in programs like Schools-to-Work, this administration continues to flex its creativity in how we support the commonwealth’s economy through the development and retention of skilled workers – with the ultimate goal of providing financial security and a better quality of life for the citizens of Pennsylvania,” Berrier said. “These grant recipients are creating pathways between high school and apprenticeships in their industries, with a strong emphasis on equity and elimination of barriers to obtaining these jobs.”
The funding will support partnerships between schools, employers, organizations and associations to create employment pathways for students and reduce barriers to family-sustaining jobs.
These opportunities are funded through the Reemployment Fund, which assists individuals to become employed or improve their employment. The Reemployment Fund is funded by a portion of employee tax paid under the Unemployment Compensation (UC) Law.
The 2022 Schools-to-Work programs will kick off July 1, 2022, and run through December 31, 2024. Details about the funded programs follow.
Pittsburgh Chapter National Tooling & Machining Foundation | $249,562
ALLEGHENY, BEAVER, BEDFORD, BUTLER, CAMBRIA, CLARION, FAYETTE, GREENE, INDIANA, JEFFERSON, SOMERSET, WASHINGTON, WESTMORELAND COUNTIES
For 17 years, the Pittsburgh Chapter National Tooling & Machining Foundation and BotsIQ have provided hands-on STEM learning experiences through business and education partnerships that build the current and future workforce needed by the manufacturing industry. This project will leverage these relationships and provide BotsIQ with the opportunity to launch and expand its Robotics Technician Pre-Apprenticeship program with regional high schools.
The Manufacturer’s Association | $213,736
ADAMS, CHESTER, CUMBERLAND, DAUPHIN, FRANKLIN, LANCASTER, LEBANON, PERRY, YORK COUNTIES
With more than 2,500 manufacturers operating in southcentral Pennsylvania, the region has an ongoing need for skilled workers in the sector. The Manufacturer’s Association’s current schools-to-work project has helped more than 80 students enter a talent pipeline and several tech schools have expressed interest in offering the pre-apprenticeship certification through the association. This funding will be used to expand the program to other counties, purchase equipment and update the curriculum.
NuPaths LLC. | $249,968
CUMBERLAND, DAUPHIN COUNTIES
This project will provide career exploration and entry into career training for 72 sophomores and juniors at seven southcentral Pennsylvania high schools. In the 2022-23 school year, students will participate in an online afterschool program to earn an industry certification and college credits. Some of the students who complete the afterschool program will enroll in a NuPaths pre-apprenticeship program as juniors and seniors during the 2023-2024 school year.
Bucks County Community College | $250,000
The Center for Workforce Development (CWD) at Bucks County Community College will bring CWD’s Manufacturing Pre-apprentice Training Programs to high school students throughout Bucks County. The registered pre-apprentice metalwork and industrial maintenance training programs are sponsored by JEVS Tri-State Apprenticeship Program (JTAP). The grant will fund four cohorts of eight students and will create a stronger pathway for youth to apprenticeship programs and provide a pipeline of skilled workers for regional manufacturers.
The Philadelphia Academies | $250,000
The Philadelphia Academies is converting an existing Bridge-to-Work Program launched several years ago at Jules E. Mastbaum Area Vocational Technical High School in Philadelphia into a registered pre-apprenticeship for students interested in a pathway to careers in the construction trades. The program will serve students in grades 9-12 to prepare students for registered apprenticeships in plumbing, carpentry, electrical and welding.
Urban Affairs Coalition/YOACAP | $250,000
YOACAP will expand its existing Project Build Pre-Apprenticeship Program with four additional high schools and serve 30 additional students in grades 9-12. YOACAP will work with the School District of Philadelphia’s Jules E. Mastbaum Career and Technical Education High School and up to three additional Mastery Charter School locations for students to gain technical and soft skills, an understanding of the building trades, and industry-recognized credentials that will prepare them for a career in the building trades.
Bucks County | $250,000
A NuPaths, LLC certified instructor will deliver courses in an online format, starting in September 2022 and September 2023 for approximately 40 high school juniors and seniors. The curriculum will focus on attaining industry-recognized qualifications, five IT certifications, and up to eight college credits with pathways for transition to a registered apprenticeship program, postsecondary education program, or employment. Upon completion, graduates will be eligible for the Information Technology Generalist Registered Apprenticeship, sponsored by JEVS Human Services in Philadelphia, PA.
Community College of Philadelphia | $250,000
The Welding Pathway Program (WPP) will build on the college’s existing partnership with the Pennsylvania Pipeline Project: Philadelphia Region Workforce Pilot (Pipeline Project) and partner employers to provide an experiential curriculum for high school students. This training will include a work-based learning ladder, beginning with career awareness and exploration through career preparation and training with a goal of preparing students for available employment opportunities with Pipeline Project employers.
Franklin County Career and Technology Center | $200,000
ADAMS, FRANKLIN, FULTON COUNTIES
This project will support the creation of an intergenerational training program, for high school students and adults at Precision Machining and CNC Operations in Franklin County. Students selected from Franklin, Adams, and Fulton counties will train in the only PDE-approved CIP Code 48.0501 Machine Tool Technology/Machinist program of study still in existence in this three-county area, completing the program with credentials qualifying them for high-wage, high-demand careers in advanced manufacturing.
Sigma Resources (Parent Company to Simcoach Games) | $250,000
ALLEGHENY, BEAVER, BUTLER, WASHINGTON, WESTMORELAND COUNTIES
This project will train 120 pre-apprentices in game design, development, and production as a precursor to a registered apprenticeship program, shaping the pre-apprentices’ decisions to further pursue skills needed for STEAM careers.
Pittsburgh Chapter, German American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. | $249,978
ALLEGHENY, BEAVER, BUTLER, CRAWFORD, ERIE, VENANGO, WASHINGTON, WESTMORELAND COUNTIES
German American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. will expand its dual pre-apprenticeship program by 75 pre-apprentices, where students will split time between traditional classroom education, related technical instruction, and on-the-job training for STEM careers.
Community College of Allegheny County | $188,310
The Community College of Allegheny County’s Schools-to-Work Grant Program will enable 75 high school students to earn industry credentials in manufacturing, preparing students for work and co-op experience while they pursue secondary and post-secondary education.