Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier today announced $2.75 million in grant funding to build and modernize Pennsylvania’s growing network of registered apprenticeship programs. L&I is one of 30 grant recipients nationwide Through the U.S. Department of Labor’s U.S. Apprenticeship Building Program, and plans to support each of the 15 Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) in their respective efforts to expand apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities for underrepresented populations in their respective regions.
“The economy is changing rapidly, and workers are increasingly demanding professional skills,” Berrier said. “As a leader in workforce development, the Wolf Administration continues to innovate how we create access to this training and remains committed to ensuring equity for all Pennsylvanians – especially those in historically marginalized communities – provide opportunities to improve their skills and sustain the family’s career path.”
In July, the Wolfe government was awarded $3.9 million in federal grants to be distributed through L&I’s Office of Apprenticeships and Training (ATO). Through grant funding, the ATO is seeking to expand diversity, equity, inclusion and access to apprenticeship programs in underrepresented communities, focusing on apprenticeships in the Commonwealth workforce system and enhancing local workforce development Apprenticeship-related expertise between committees and PA CareerLink® staff.
To help the local workforce across the Commonwealth, the ATO is helping to develop a strategic plan to expand registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programmes and delivering training webinars highlighting how job seekers can connect to the model and how LWDB can capitalise on workforce innovations and opportunities Act (WIOA) to fund apprenticeships.
“LWDB not only supports apprenticeships, but also provides the leadership necessary to bring together key regional partners to support Pennsylvania’s registered apprenticeship model,” said ATO Director Tara Loew. “Their continued commitment to promoting apprenticeships for both employers and job seekers will help accelerate the development of the local apprenticeship ecosystem supported by the ATO.”
Applications must be completed and submitted by Friday, November 4, 2022. The U.S. and Pennsylvania NGA Apprenticeship Buildings and related materials can be found on L&I’s grants website: www.dli.pa.gov/Grants.
Apprenticeships under WOLF management
The ATO within the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry was established in 2016 to direct and facilitate the expansion and compliance of all registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs across the Commonwealth. The ATO oversees the development and approval of all registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship related programmes and ensures compliance with all regulations and standards. As at August 2022, the ATO supports 883 unique scheme sponsors and 1,596 occupation-specific registered apprenticeship schemes across the Commonwealth, with 16,576 registered apprentices currently active.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that, on average, starting salaries after apprenticeships are $70,000 per year, and workers who do not graduate from apprenticeship programs can expect to earn $300,000 more in their careers. For every dollar spent on apprenticeships, employers receive an average return of $1.47 in increased productivity.
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