PA Plans to Improve Broadband Infrastructure through Apprenticeship Grant Funding

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry announced the availability of $800,000 in funding to support broadband expansion across the Commonwealth through registered apprenticeship programs that can train a workforce with the skills needed to build high-speed internet infrastructure.

L&I is soliciting applications for grants from registered apprenticeship programs with plans to reach underrepresented populations — including women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans – for training in broadband-related occupations. According to the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority’s (PBDA) master plan, at least 2.6 million Pennsylvanians living in 1.3 million households do not have access to internet or the skills to use technology.

“In the 21st Century, individuals, families and businesses without access to reliable internet service are at a serious economic disadvantage. It’s time we close the digital divide for citizens across Pennsylvania,” L&I Acting Secretary Nancy Walker said. “These funds will build a workforce that can tear down barriers to economic opportunity, especially in the rural areas of Pennsylvania. Investment in these workers is an investment in Pennsylvania’s future.”

Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Monday, June 12, 2023. More information on the Supporting Broadband Infrastructure through Registered Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeships Grant Program and related materials are available on L&I’s website.