Department of Community and Economic Development Deputy Secretary for Business Financing Carol Kilko and Department of Labor & Industry Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani discussed the Governor Wolf’s Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP) proposal and encouraged students to pursue manufacturing careers while touring Saint Marys Area High School. Following the tour of the school, the deputies also toured Penn Pallet, a manufacturer of several types of wood shipping platforms, to discuss the importance of STEM education for modern manufacturing careers.
“If we don’t teach Pennsylvanians the skills they need to take advantage of the opportunities available to them, we fall behind,” Kilko said. “The Wolf administration is here to reaffirm our commitment to prepare the strongest workforce in the nation and ensure that our manufacturing industry remains at the forefront of innovation. It is our job to connect the dots, and to showcase the incredible opportunities in the manufacturing industry that are changing lives and moving our economy forward.”
The governor’s SWEAP proposal will expand access to early childhood education, increase investments in schools, and foster partnerships with the private sector to build on the success of the PAsmart initiative. Governor Wolf launched PAsmart last year to prepare students and workers for the jobs of today and tomorrow. PAsmart expanded STEM, computer science education, and apprenticeship and job training to close the skills gap and rapidly meet the needs of employers. Unveiled in the governor’s 2019-2020 budget proposal, SWEAP will provide further workforce training opportunities for Pennsylvanians from birth to retirement.
“Modern manufacturing jobs are clean, high-tech and require high-skilled workers. These positions can offer an alternative path to a good, middle-class job, which is why we are delighted to have an opportunity to showcase those facts,” Cipriani said. “Manufacturing is poised to experience even greater growth with Governor Wolf’s SWEAP proposal that is geared toward creating a world-class workforce through additional investments in education and workforce training to ensure that our youth are ready to meet the challenges of a 21st-century career.”
“The North Central Workforce Development Board (NCWDB) commends Governor Wolf’s workforce development initiatives and his administration’s support to Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry,” said Susie Snelick, Executive Director of NCWDB. “It is with collaboration that we will launch our industry to the next level and continue to be leaders in the 21st century.”