Labor & Industry Announces Up to $4 Million Available to Strengthen Industry Partnerships

Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier today announced up to $4 million in available Industry Partnership Grant funding to support workforce development projects across Pennsylvania. The state has invested more than $40 million since 2018 to enhance opportunities for Pennsylvania workers through apprenticeship programs and to strengthen Pennsylvania’s overall economy through industry partnerships. Industry Partnerships (IPs) support businesses partnering to build stronger, more competitive industries through training, networking, recruitment, and collaboration to raise career and industry awareness.

“Industry Partnership grants were created to assist employers within a targeted sector to strengthen their industry through training initiatives, recruitment strategies, career-awareness projects, and collaboration to address challenges identified by industry leaders,” Berrier said. “We look forward to seeing these investments translate into innovative projects and new partnerships that will prepare the commonwealth for a more diverse and advanced labor force for years to come.”

The $4 million of available funding will be awarded in increments of up to $250,000 to support industry partnerships across the commonwealth to improve economic growth while preparing workers with training for their current position, as well as future advancement. The most recent round of Industry Partnership grants, totaling $4.8 million, were awarded in December 2021 to 26 applicants committed to meeting local and regional workforce needs.

Projects funded through Industry Partnership grants should identify workforce, education and training, and economic development gaps; coordinate regional strategies to support industry needs; identify public and community resources to address industry-identified challenges and increase collaboration among businesses within a targeted industry sector. Previously funded industry partnerships have supported a wide variety of industries including manufacturing, construction, healthcare, logistics and transportation, information technology and hospitality. L&I encourages partnerships across all industry sectors, including those that have not traditionally been involved in IPs, such as education or behavioral health, to be developed and apply for funding.

Eligible applicants include local workforce development boards, non-profit and non-governmental entities, community-based organizations, educational and post-secondary educational organizations, labor organizations, business associations, and economic development entities.

All applicants and fiscal agents must be registered with the commonwealth as a vendor. Applicants and fiscal agents that are not current vendors are advised to begin this process once they submit their application by registering their organization with the Vendor Data Management Unit (VDMU).

Additional details and the grant application for the Industry Partnership grants can be found on L&I’s website. Applications for the Industry Partnership grants are due by 4 p.m. on October 28, 2022. L&I anticipates a performance period beginning December 8, 2022 and ending on June 30, 2024.