Shapiro Administration Partners With Industry Leaders Statewide To Invest $4.2 Million In Pennsylvania’s Workforce

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The Shapiro Administration and Workforce Board Lehigh Valley joined labor leaders, public-school educators, legislators and Allentown business leaders on Thursday to announce $4.2 million in Industry Partnership grants for workforce projects statewide.

(Pictured above: Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Nancy A. Walker.)

Governor Josh Shapiro’s 2024-25 budget proposes to increase the investment in Industry Partnerships by $2.2 million to support the workforce development and workforce needs of Pennsylvania’s workers and businesses.

“The Industry Partnership model works because the investments are targeted to communities where there’s already a synergy of local leaders determined to work together on ideas that will strengthen families and businesses–while also protecting the futures of both,” Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Nancy A. Walker said.

The Industry Partnership program encourages partnerships among businesses in various sectors to address education and training, economic development needs, coordination of regional support teams, identifying community resources, and providing further opportunities for collaboration.

The following Industry Partnership grant winners and amounts were awarded.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Philadelphia Works, Inc. (Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties — $250,000)
The Philadelphia Hospitality and Entertainment Industry Partnership (H&EIP) will hold meetings on a regular basis to identify current business needs/issues and develop a marketing strategy to increase membership and expand the partnership to five counties. The partnership will also work to increase opportunities for on-the-job and incumbent worker training and DEI training. The partnership will also create a sustainability fund that will support the partnership’s work beyond the grant period.

Philadelphia Works, Inc. (Philadelphia, Bucks, and Montgomery counties — $250,000)
The Southeastern PA Manufacturing Alliance (SEPMA) Industry Partnership plans to work with employers to revise their talent acquisition strategies, look at upskilling incumbent workers through the continuation of the Manufacturing Career Accelerator Program (MCAP), identify education and public partners to assist with training, coordinate with the School District of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Youth Network for youth opportunities, and collaborate with PA CareerLink® on career awareness events and recruitment.

Delaware County Workforce Development Board (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties — $217,629)
The Collar County Emergency Medical Services Industry Partnership plans to hold bimonthly meetings that focus on one of the priorities identified by their employers – such as talent pipeline development, community awareness, and retention strategies. The partnership also plans to look at the potential for a registered apprenticeship and use other training programs to build a pipeline. In working with their public partners, the partnership will look at options to align the secondary and post-secondary curricula for EMS programs.

Chester County Economic Development Foundation (Philadelphia, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties — $250,000)
The Healthcare Connect Industry Partnership has three goals: creating career development pathways, creating professional development opportunities for new nurses, and developing a targeted effort to reduce burnout. Some potential activities include a “resiliency camp” for developing coping skills, providing career pathways to nursing assistants/aides through certificates and further training, and designing an adjunctive nurse residency program focusing on the development of communication and conflict resolution.

Chester County Economic Development Foundation (Philadelphia, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, and Northampton counties — $250,000)
The AgConnect Industry Partnership has identified four priority areas: technical assistance (including training, credentialing, and more), youth pipeline development, collaborative workplace solutions, and hiring/human resource support services. Some proposed activities include researching software to make locally produced goods more accessible, developing a standardized hiring toolkit in English and Spanish, and conducting engagement meetings with workforce development boards and PA CareerLink® staff around the variety of careers in agriculture.

Workforce Board Lehigh Valley (Lehigh and Northampton counties — $250,000)
The Lehigh Valley Youth Inside Out Industry Partnership will focus on engaging and creating opportunities within education and the manufacturing and supply chain industry sector in order to begin breaking down barriers, showcasing jobs, and increasing the skills and knowledge around the industry. The partnership plans to convene business leaders and engage the Allentown School District to increase the talent pipeline. The partnership also plans to hold employer roundtables and develop a workforce pipeline strategic action plan committee.

SOUTHWEST REGION

Partner4Work (Allegheny County — $250,000)
The P4W Construction Industry Partnership will focus on three key needs: union diversity and inclusion efforts, pre-apprenticeship training and support, and pipeline building for the next generation. Some activities to meet these needs will include working with the Chicago Women in the Trades to develop outreach strategies to improve the diversity of the workforce pipeline, developing a recruitment strategy to scale their Pit2Work model (including their pre-apprenticeship construction program), and exploring the implementation of the National Association of Women in Construction’s summer camp.

Tri-County Workforce Investment Board (Armstrong, Butler, and Indiana counties — $110,000)
The Tri-County Agricultural Industry Partnership plans to increase the partnership capacity and begin building a sustainability plan to address the issue of producer and worker shortage. The partnership also plans to develop strategies to increase career awareness and address the training needs of their employers. Their goal is to solve some of the regional agricultural challenges while also seeing an increase in efficiency and competitiveness within their employer partners.

Southwest Corner Workforce Development Board (Beaver, Greene, and Washington counties — $250,000)
The Southwest Corner Building and Construction Industry Partnership identified three priorities: recruitment of new employees, diversifying the workforce, and training incumbent workers. The partnership has also identified new consortium-based apprenticeship training and DEIA workshops as activities to meet these priorities.

Southwest Corner Workforce Development Board (Beaver, Greene, and Washington counties — $144,000)
The Southwest Corner Advanced Manufacturing Industry Partnership identified two focus areas: promoting local and regional careers in manufacturing (particularly with students) and upgrading the skills of the current workforce through training programs. The partnership also plans to continue addressing and working on their previously identified action items, such as establishing and expanding registered apprenticeship programs, and promoting career opportunities in manufacturing to youth, parents, and educators.

Southwest Corner Workforce Development Board (Beaver, Greene, and Washington counties — $100,000)
The Southwest Corner Healthcare Industry Partnership will primarily focus on outreach and recruitment, training and career pathways, and retention. The partnership will focus on youth outreach and career awareness and plans to explore ways they can support training for specific healthcare occupations identified as highest priority by their members. Some of those occupations include, registered nurses, nurse aides, surgical technicians and personal care aides.

Three Rivers Area Labor Management Committee (Allegheny, Beaver, Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland counties — $250,000)
The PA Steel Alliance Industry Partnership will work to address challenges including the need to upskill workers in electrical and mechanical maintenance, provide advanced skill training, and explore the development of new training opportunities through immersive technologies like augmented reality platforms. The partnership’s activities will focus on identifying workforce and training needs, coordinating a team to support high-tech industry needs, identifying additional community resources, increasing collaboration in the industry, ensuring the successful completion of training, and surveying partnership effectiveness.

Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Development Board (Fayette and Westmoreland counties — $189,319)
The West-Fay Healthcare Industry Partnership has set goals around increasing regional collaboration, raising healthcare career awareness, and identifying best practices and solutions for their partnership. The partnership aims to improve the workforce conditions for their healthcare employers and increase the career opportunities for residents.

Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Development Board (Fayette and Westmoreland counties — $210,574)
The West-Fay Manufacturing Industry Partnership has a primary goal of continuing to expand its activities for manufacturers and workers to support the partnership’s longevity. Some of the activities proposed include increased regional collaboration between employers and between employers and service providers, providing training opportunities, and identifying best practices.

CENTRAL REGION

Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board (Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, and Union counties — $175,000)
The Central PA Building and Construction Industry Partnership will hold activities to assist businesses in identifying their priority workforce and training challenges. The partnership will also support collaboration among its members and public partners to develop solutions to the identified challenges. Some specific deliverables include developing trainings based on the identified needs of partnership members, raising career awareness, and expanding the industry partnership’s membership.

Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board (Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, and Union counties — $150,000)
The Central PA Agriculture Industry Partnership plans to hold activities that will help businesses identify their workforce and training challenges. The partnership will be a collaborative space among employers and public partners that will assist in developing solutions to those challenges. Some specific deliverables include developing trainings based on the identified needs of partnership members, raising career awareness, and expanding the industry partnership’s membership.

SCPa Works (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York counties — $250,000)
The South Central IT Industry Partnership is working to address challenges facing the IT sector, including unfilled positions, lack of an entrepreneurial network, the need to adapt to a hybrid work culture, and regional diversity gaps. The partnership has organized itself around four committees: talent supply and diversity, innovation & entrepreneurship, membership and outreach, and a grant committee. Some of the partnership’s planned activities include hosting an innovation ecosystem conference, continuing K-12 outreach, building an apprenticeship program, and leveraging generative AI skills assessments.

NORTHEAST REGION

Northern Tier Workforce Development Board (Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, and Wyoming counties– $162,073)
The Northern Tier Manufacturing Industry Partnership aims to continue to identify skills gaps, develop recruitment and retention plans, promote career pathways, inform educators on the manufacturing career opportunities, and identify gaps in the available training for incoming workers and the incumbent workforce. The partnership will use the Northeast Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center as a facilitator on partnership meetings and action teams. Some proposed activities include creating a manufacturing guide to promote career pathways, hosting career events, and resource mapping current resources.

NORTHWEST REGION

West Central Job Partnership Inc. (Lawrence and Mercer counties — $235,786)
The Lawrence Mercer Manufacturers Coalition Industry Partnership aims to begin developing career awareness around the career pathways in manufacturing and equip future workers with skills necessary to enter and advance in their careers. The partnership will be looking to specifically target youth and underserved communities in awareness efforts. The partnership’s proposed activities include holding roundtables, committing manufacturer ambassadors for youth outreach, and mapping out training programs.

STATEWIDE

PA Society of Professional Engineers — $250,000
The Fundamentals of Engineering Industry Partnership plans to create a pilot program around educating civil, environmental, and mechanical engineering students on the importance of taking the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE) exam. The program will cover the role licensed engineers play in protecting public health, the requirements for the FE exam, how to prepare for the exam, and the career benefits in passing the exam. The program will disburse this information through a series of marketing materials and platforms.


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