$300,000 to Connect Businesses and Schools, Boost Job Training Opportunities in PA

Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak urged eligible local workforce development boards (LWBDs) to apply for $300,000 in new Business-Education Partnership (BEP) grants that will connect businesses and school districts and expand career opportunities throughout Pennsylvania.

“Strong workforce development programs will be key to providing Pennsylvanians with the skills and technical training they need to get good-paying jobs in an economy that has rapidly changed due to COVID-19,” said Secretary Oleksiak. “By establishing these workforce development programs now, we are better equipped to respond to these changes in the economy and ensure Pennsylvania employers can find the workers they need to succeed and grow.”

A total of $300,000 in funding is available through L&I to LWDBs to implement Business-Education Partnership programs. These programs help increase awareness of in-demand technical careers for students, parents, guardians, and school faculty. Eligible applicants include LWDBs who are not currently operating a program year 2019 BEP project, and Westmoreland-Fayette, Montgomery, and Lehigh Valley LWBDs are strongly encouraged to apply.

Last year the commonwealth funded Business-Education Partnership grant activities to serve nearly 32,000 individuals across Pennsylvania,” Secretary Oleksiak added. “These partnerships benefit employers by educating tomorrow’s workforce about the career and technical education job opportunities that exist and provide students with a solid first-work experience that puts them squarely on the path to future success.”

The partnerships connect schools, employers, and students to provide career-related experiences and opportunities through soft-skills development, internships, workplace shadowing, and career mentoring, all with the goal of informing more students about the need to develop technical skills required by employers.