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Governor Tom Wolf today 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 apprenticeship​s 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.

Apprentice Training for the Electrical Industry | $394,383

BUCKS, CHESTER, DELAWARE, MONTGOMERY AND PHILADELPHIA COUNTIES

Apprentice Training for the Electrical Industry (ATEI), in partnership with public-school districts in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties, will offer “Rosie’s Girls” – a program designed to familiarize young women with safety, tool familiarization, theoretical basics of electrical and telecommunications installation, jobsite conditions, as well as an introduction to other career paths in the building and construction trades.

Asbestos Workers Local Union No. 14 (dba International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers JAC (LU14) Training Center) | $200,000

BUCKS, CHESTER, DELAWARE, MONTGOMERY AND PHILADELPHIA COUNTIES

The International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers (IAHFIAW) JAC (LU14) Training Center will expand upon current programs and build their capacity to increase participation of women, veterans, and other underserved populations in their registered apprenticeship program.

Berks Connections Pretrial Services | $290,378

BERKS COUNTY

This project will expand and enhance Rebuilding Reentrants and Reading (R3), a registered pre-apprenticeship program in the construction trades that exclusively serves reentrants. The project will broaden the scope of R3 to include a welding component and a woodworking skills component. This program will serve a diverse and traditionally underserved population.

Bucks County Community College | $400,000

BUCKS COUNTY

Bucks County Community College’s Center for Workforce Development (CWD) will develop and implement a Building and Construction Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program. CWD will partner with the Bucks County Workforce Development Board, local unions and companies to better serve the community by providing the training necessary for graduates to matriculate into partnering registered apprenticeship programs and high-paying family-sustaining careers. This project will train four cohorts of eight students each, for a total of 32 students.

Builders Guild of Western PA | $189,420

ALLEGHENY COUNTY

This program aims to connect individuals of all backgrounds, including underserved, disadvantaged, unemployed, underemployed and re-entrants, to the educational and career opportunities provided by the building and construction trades. Chief among those are family-sustaining wages and benefits, and the ability to continually advance to greater levels of career responsibility. The project is also focused on expanding reach to high school students and providing opportunities to those who may not otherwise qualify for apprenticeships due to education barriers.

County of Bucks Department of Workforce and Economic Development | $400,000

BUCKS COUNTY

The pre-apprenticeship model will include the three Bucks County Career & Technical Centers (CTC) schools:  Bucks County Technical High School (BCTHS), Middle Bucks Institute of Technology (MBIT), and Upper Bucks County Technical School (UBCTS). Five construction/trade pre-apprenticeship programs will be designed and registered as pre-apprenticeships.  An electrical pre-apprenticeship program will be created in the fall of 2022, followed by a plumbing pre-apprenticeship program in the spring of 2023. Three additional pre-apprenticeship programs will be registered in the fall of 2023 — carpentry, welding and HVAC. About 300 high school students will participate as pre-apprentices during these two school years.

IBEW Local 163 JATC | $446,247

BRADFORD, LUZERNE, SULLIVAN AND WYOMING COUNTIES

IBEW Local 163 JATC will serve a total of 96 individuals through their five-year apprenticeship program, 40 of which will be from underrepresented populations in registered apprenticeship.

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.

Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania, Inc. | $324,500

ALLEGHENY, ARMSTRONG, BEAVER, BEDFORD, BLAIR, BUTLER, CAMBRIA, CAMERON, CENTRE, CLARION, CLEARFIELD, CLINTON, CRAWFORD, ELK, ERIE, FAYETTE, FOREST, GREENE, HUNTINGDON, INDIANA, JEFFERSON, LAWRENCE, MERCER, MCKEAN, POTTER, SOMERSET, VENANGO, WASHINGTON, WESTMORELAND AND WARREN COUNTIES

Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania will implement JA Careers in Skilled Trades curriculum for grades 7-12, as these are the transitional years when students begin to think about their career. JA’s pre-apprenticeship curriculums will expose students to real-life apprenticeship occupations and viable career opportunities. Pre-apprentices will learn workforce vocabulary, vocational competencies, and tangible skills that can be used in potential careers.

KML Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund | $450,000

ALLEGHENY, ARMSTRONG, BEAVER, BUTLER, WASHINGTON AND WESTMORELAND COUNTIES

The KML Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund’s goal is to expand its registered CARP (Carpenters Apprentice Readiness Program) pre-apprenticeship program that will serve five cohorts of at least 20 pre-apprentices for a total of 100 pre-apprentices in the program with a career pathway concentration and close alignment with educational institutions.

Lackawanna College | $377,098

LUZERNE COUNTY

Lackawanna College will develop a 24-week pre-apprenticeship program that will prepare individuals for employment and apprenticeship in construction trades. The program is tailored to meet the needs of Spanish-speaking individuals with limited English proficiency. The program will include an eight-week ESL class, followed by a 16-week semester of courses in which students will obtain 11 certifications and earn 16.5 college credits. Students who complete the program will be prepared to enter apprenticeship, employment, and/or continue their postsecondary education. Forty individuals will be served.

The Pittsburgh A. Philip Randolph Institute Education Fund | $400,000

ALLEGHENY COUNTY

APRI’s program Breaking the Chains of Poverty (BTCP)offers training designed to meet the needs of racial/ethnic minorities and women with multiple barriers to employment. Graduates are prepared for high-priority occupation, entry-level jobs and apprenticeships with BTCP’s employer partners in construction, manufacturing, energy and other related industries. APRI plans to train a minimum of 64 students during the grant period.

Samuel Staten Sr. Pre-Apprenticeship Program | $392,273

PHILADELPHIA COUNTY

The Samuel Staten Sr. Pre-Apprenticeship Program (SSSPAP) will provide Philadelphia residents who are people of color and women the opportunity to enter the apprenticeships of the building and construction trade unions through training designed by the members of the Philadelphia Building Construction Trade (BCT) unions. Through partnerships with BCT business managers and members of the General Building Contractors Association (GBCA), participants will gain necessary skills, knowledge, and abilities to be successful in pursuit of careers that lead to sustainable wages and that would increase representation of people of color and women in the construction and building trade unions in and around the city of Philadelphia.

TLC Work-Based Training Program, Inc | $400,000

DAUPHIN COUNTY

TLC Work-Based Training Program, Inc. offers practical learning for the in-demand construction trade acting as a community-based collaborative problem-solving model to address poverty and joblessness. TLC-WBT currently provides apprenticeship opportunities as well as a paid construction training program for people ages 17-25 to benefit veterans, ex-offenders, hard-to-place individuals, at-risk youth, and low- and moderate-income people.

For more information on available grants, click here

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