PAsmart is Expanding Apprenticeships from Plumbing to Early Childhood Education Careers

Governor Tom Wolf spoke at the 2019 Pennsylvania Apprenticeship Summit to highlight how his PAsmart initiative is preparing more workers with on-the-job training for many good jobs in a wide variety of careers and providing businesses with a skilled workforce to thrive in Pennsylvania.

“Businesses are hiring, and many employees are retiring out of the workforce, creating strong demand for skilled workers in Pennsylvania,” said Governor Wolf. “My PAsmart initiative is investing in education and job training so workers are prepared for good, well-paying jobs in a variety of careers.”

Apprenticeships are part of the governor’s PAsmart initiative to create the strongest workforce in the nation. The governor secured $70 million for PAsmart over two years, including $40 million for science and technology education and $30 million for apprenticeships and job training programs.

“Apprenticeship programs are an effective way to train and retain workers because they create a more productive, diverse, and skilled workforce, and help reduce employee turnover,” said Governor Wolf. “Apprentices are able to provide for their families by earning a good living while learning new skills.”

Apprenticeship opportunities are available in traditional industries such as machining, carpentry, HVAC, and plumbing, as well as non-traditional industries, including mental health services, human services, early childhood education, scientific research, and information technology.

In the first year of PAsmart, the Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) awarded grants to 59 pre-apprenticeships and registered apprenticeship programs. PAsmart also invests in Pennsylvania’s nationally leading Next Generation Industry Partnerships, which create collaboration among businesses to improve the training for their workforce.

Other workforce development accomplishments under Governor Wolf include:

  • Increasing the number of apprentices in Pennsylvania to more than 18,000;
  • Increasing the number of career and technical education (CTE) students earning industry-recognized credentials by 34.2 percent;
  • Increasing the number of credentials earned by students enrolled in CTE programs by 27.2 percent;
  • Advancing Pennsylvania to third in the nation in the number of nationally-recognized STEM ecosystems and making the commonwealth the fifth largest producer of STEM graduates; and
  • Approving more than $4 million in funding through the new Manufacturing PA initiative for nine new training programs across Pennsylvania to give more than 340 job seekers the skills they need to secure a stable, high-paying job in manufacturing.