Department of Labor & Industry: Wolf administration announces $2.5 million to connect businesses and schools, boost job training opportunities across Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak today urged local workforce development boards (LWBDs) to apply for $2.5 million in new Business-Education Partnership (BEP) grants that will connect businesses and school districts and expand career opportunities throughout Pennsylvania.

“This funding supports one of Governor Tom Wolf’s key workforce development objectives to provide students with the technical training they need to get good-paying jobs when entering the workforce,” Secretary Oleksiak said. “These business and education partnerships give students the skills to succeed in today’s economy, while simultaneously creating new generations of highly-skilled workers for Pennsylvania employers.”

A total of $2.5 million in funding is available through L&I to LWDBs to implement Business-Education Partnership programs. These programs help increase awareness of in-demand technical careers for students, parents, guardians, and school faculty. Each of the 22 statewide LWDBs are strongly encouraged to apply.

“Last year the commonwealth funded Business-Education Partnership grant activities to serve nearly 29,000 individuals across Pennsylvania,” Oleksiak added. “These partnerships benefit employers by educating tomorrow’s workforce about the career and technical education job opportunities that exist and provide students with a solid first-work experience that puts them squarely on the path to future success.”

The partnerships connect schools, employers, and students to provide career-related experiences and opportunities through soft-skills development, internships, workplace shadowing, and career mentoring, all with the goal of informing more students about the need to develop technical skills required by employers.

The Business-Education Partnership grants from L&I are funded at 100 percent through federal money made available from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act.

The grant funding to encourage job training opportunities works supports Governor Wolf’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.

Additional details and the grant application can be found on L&I’s website. The deadline to apply is November 15, 2019.

For more information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit PAsmart.

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Media contacts: Penny Ickes or Theresa Elliott, 717-787-7530 or