PA Awards $200,000 to Boost Student Interest in Manufacturing Careers in Northwestern Pennsylvania

Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger announced a $200,000 grant to support manufacturing programs at the Northwest PA Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC) to inspire students and connect manufacturing talent in Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties with regional employers.

NWIRC’s “Project Manufacturing Talent Stream” will receive the funding through a Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career (MTTC) grant to introduce and implement two new proven programs to the region (Dream Team and STEAM Club), leverage existing community programs, and innovate new initiatives — all while building stronger ties with the regional manufacturing industry.

Project Manufacturing Talent Stream will bring students and other future job seekers onsite to manufacturers to explore and connect with career opportunities, while creating a more active role for regional manufacturers in the community.

“Pennsylvania is investing in the Commonwealth’s next generation of workers and making Pennsylvania a place where everyone can chart their own rewarding career course,” said Secretary Siger. “Using our investment in Project Manufacturing Talent Stream, the NWIRC will identify students looking for a career path and workers already in the job market and show them the exciting and well-paying manufacturing opportunities that are available right now in the region.”

Project Manufacturing Talent Stream will have a tangible impact on the regional manufacturing industry using a multi-faceted approach including:

  • Developing, coordinating, and promoting a PA Dream Team for manufacturing in Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties;
  • Launching STEAM Clubs at select high schools;
  • Connecting manufacturers to new sources of future talent; and
  • Leveraging existing workforce development and career exploration programs in the region.

“Within our mission to support the challenges of manufacturers in our 13-county region, we know one is finding employees and we’ve made it a strategic priority to be part of the solution to stir-up excitement around manufacturing and connect manufacturers with new talent,” said Bob Zaruta, NWIRC President/CEO. “Through this initiative, the over-arching goal is to provide new opportunities and create awareness about existing opportunities for manufacturers to share with students the cool things they make and do and have inspiring career conversations.”