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Governor Tom Wolf announced new funding for The Challenge Program, Inc., through Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Program (MTTC), to help more than 15,000 students learn firsthand about career opportunities in the manufacturing industry in southwestern Pennsylvania.

“Providing a strong pipeline of talent to the manufacturing industry is vital for its continued success in Pennsylvania,” said Gov. Wolf. “The commonwealth has seen great success through programs such as the one being run by The Challenge Program, and the Wolf Administration remains committed to continuing to invest in these important programs.”

The Challenge Program plans to use their $200,000 in MTTC funding to increase manufacturing awareness activities and implement ‘Students in the Workplace’ among the organization’s manufacturing and school partnerships. Through this program, more than 15,000 students in grades 10 through 12 will be introduced to the breadth of manufacturing opportunities including specific types of positions available in the field and the training and educational pathways needed to enter these careers.

“The ‘Students in the Workplace’ model has allowed The Challenge Program, Inc. to facilitate life changing programs for students, educators, and manufacturers in Pennsylvania communities,” said Barbara Grandinetti, president of The Challenge Program. “Connecting students with jobs, helping businesses find their future skilled workforce, and assisting educators with career and work readiness has resulted in students’ lives being significantly changed for the better and strengthened communities.”

The Challenge Program’s mission is to motivate high school students to develop the habits required to succeed in school and in their careers by building business/education partnerships. The organization has been connecting students to the workforce since 2003.

Governor Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative was launched in October 2017 and since then has funded 80 projects and invested more than $17.1 million through the MTTC program.

Training-to-Career grants support projects that result in short-term work-readiness, job placement, or the advancement of manufacturing. The Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Grant program works collaboratively with local manufacturers to identify and teach missing essential skills for entry-level applicants seeking manufacturing employment, engage youth or those with barriers to career opportunities in manufacturing, and or advance capacity for local or regional manufacturers.

For more information about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to manufacturing, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with the agency’s news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

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