Governor Tom Wolf announced that more than $7.8 million in training assistance funding was provided to 745 Pennsylvania companies through the commonwealth’s Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania. This year marks 20 years of partnerships and funding assistance for qualified businesses in the state, with 20,683 companies providing training for 1,238,915 existing staff members.
“Continuing education and workforce training allow everyone a path to future success and is a way for employers and employees to show allegiance and good faith in each other,” said Gov. Wolf. “It’s pivotal in strengthening our state’s workforce, our communities, and ultimately, our economy.”
Last fiscal year, the commonwealth invested $7,896,801 in training and provided 30,460 employees with access to education in the areas of Essential Skills and Advanced Technology. Essential Skills training can include guidance in the areas of communication and teamwork, health and safety, business and computer operations, manufacturing fundamentals, and quality assurance. Advanced technology training can include guidance in the areas of advanced manufacturing technology, advanced software implementation, computer programming, and software engineering.
“Job training helps people achieve their career goals and improve their quality of life, and workforce development is one of the strongest drivers of our economy,” said Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin. “WEDnetPA isn’t just a tool to help workers further their careers; it’s a tool that has helped us attract and retain businesses and grow Pennsylvania’s economy for the past two decades, and will continue to do so for decades to come.”
“While other states also offer resources to help companies close the skills gap, WEDnetPA is unique in its approach,” said Statewide Director Thomas Venditti. “By networking with 25 colleges and universities, we leverage their existing professional workforce development staff to create a highly cost-effective way to provide help with incumbent worker training.”
Workforce training grants align with Governor Wolf’s PAsmart workforce development initiative. The governor launched the innovative PAsmart initiative last year and secured a $10 million increase to $40 million for the program this year. PAsmart provides $20 million for science and technology education, $10 million for apprenticeships and job training, and new this year, an additional $10 million for career and technical education.