A Pennsylvania program has awarded nearly $440,000 to the Pittsburgh Chapter of the German American Chamber of Commerce’s (GACC) Dual Apprenticeship Program. The Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program, housed at the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), helps employers develop speciated training for their workers to close the skills gap and provide career opportunities for students and adults.
The program is funded by money that has been “clawed back” from businesses and organizations that received state support and failed to meet the state requirements of the contract.
“Pennsylvania businesses are looking to hire, and they need skilled employees, which create great opportunities for workers and their families,” said Gov. Wolf. “My administration created this program to work with businesses to develop a talented pool of skilled-workers and to provide hardworking people with the on-the-job training they need for good jobs that make our state and economy stronger.”
The project received $439,999 in funding which will enable GACC to better serve 18 of its current registered apprentices and to continue to grow the program to serve 49 additional apprentices during the three-year project period. All Dual Apprenticeship Program registered apprentices earn industry-recognized credentials. Registered apprentices in the Polymer Technology Process Technician, Mechatronics Technician, Sales Engineering, and CAD/CAM Design programs earn an associate degree and certification.
“Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry is growing and so is the need for skilled employees to fuel the workforce, so we are thrilled to support GACC in their mission to expand the reach of these apprenticeship opportunities,” said DCED Sec. Dennis Davin. “This funding helps apprentices obtain in-demand skills while earning an income and connects them with future manufacturing career placement.”
The GACC’s German dual training model allows apprentices to split time between traditional classroom education, related technical instruction (RTI), and on-the-job training (OJT), and partners with 22 companies to teach apprentices.
The program also allows apprentices to earn while they learn and develop in-demand skills, rather than accumulating student debt.
“We enjoy working with every stakeholder in our program, but particularly our manufacturers, of whom we are proud to support with our skilled training programs,” said GACC Pittsburgh Chapter President Rachel Mauer. “We are also proud, of course, of our apprentices—all of whom show up, work hard, and contribute from day one to the companies that employ them. We are very grateful to Governor Wolf and Secretary Davin for their support of our manufacturers, our work, and our apprentices’ efforts.”
The Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Program works to increase apprenticeship availability to Pennsylvania employers to assist them with their talent recruitment and development. Funding is provided to eligible applicants for the purpose of reaching the goal of increasing apprenticeship accessibility across the state. Eligible uses of funds include expenses related to instruction that complements on-the-job learning.