State’s Worker Training Program Assisted More Than 145,000 Businesses, Workers

Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Executive Deputy Secretary Scott Dunkelberger joined company executives at USA Spares, a machine design shop in Carlisle, Cumberland County, to highlight how the company and its employees have benefited from the Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania (WEDnet) worker training program. The program provides training to a company’s existing workers, which strengthens the company’s workforce and equips workers with the skills they need to grow in their careers.

“One of the biggest components of strengthening Pennsylvania’s workforce is ensuring that companies can continually train and upskill their current workers,” Dunkelberger said. “This not only enables workers to advance in their careers and achieve higher wages, but it also means companies benefit from a more highly skilled and more productive workforce.”

In FY 2017-2018, the Wolf Administration helped to train more than 26,340 workers at 695 companies across the commonwealth. The training ranged across several professional career fields, from manufacturing to health care to information technology. Notably, WEDnet funding has benefited companies of all sizes, with small companies receiving approximately 32 percent of total funds, and medium, large, and extra-large companies receiving 23, 24, and 21 percent of the training funds respectively.

In Governor Wolf’s first term, the program assisted nearly 3,000 companies in training more than 145,000 workers across the commonwealth.

At USA Spares, Dunkelberger discussed with company leaders and employees about how the program has benefited them. USA Spares was approved to receive $55,000 in WEDnet funding to train employees.

“Our worker training program is an integral part of on-going education to our workforce in a variety of areas, from machining to quality assurance,” said Stewart Byers, president of USA Spares. “The funding available from the WEDnet has been beneficial to help support this effort.”

WEDnet aligns with Governor Wolf’s $30 million PAsmart workforce development initiative, a new and innovative way to improve coordination between state agencies, cut red tape, and invest in people and business to create and expand innovative job training so workers get the skills that businesses need to compete in the global economy.