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Category Archives: News

Workforce development news from Pennsylvania and across the U.S.

Governor Wolf Announces $2.2 Million in Teacher in the Workplace Grants to Connect Schools and Local Employers

Governor Tom Wolf today announced $2.2 million in Teacher in the Workplace grants have been awarded to 92 local education agencies (LEA) to enable teachers to visit local employers and learn the skills and industry trends to enhance their classroom instruction, student learning, and career readiness. Each LEA will receive a $25,000 Targeted Grant through the Department of Education (PDE).

“It’s critical that we connect our schools to local businesses so we can prepare students with the skills they need for in-demand jobs,” said Governor Wolf. “By connecting directly with employers, teachers can learn first-hand about the skills and industry trends that will enhance their classroom instruction, student learning, and career readiness.”



Local workforce development boards receive $5.8M in Youth Reentry Demonstration Project grants

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) recently awarded $5.8 million in Youth Reentry Demonstration Project grants to 10 local workforce development boards (LWDBs).

“This investment will help those who have interacted with the justice system to get the skills they need for a good job and to build a career,” Gov. Tom Wolf said. “Education and job training are crucial to removing barriers to work so people can put their lives back on track and build a stronger workforce in Pennsylvania.

Lyft announces Pittsburgh pilot program offering discounts to 250 newly hired workers

As part of a nationwide initiative, the ride-hailing company Lyft has partnered with Pittsburgh organizations to offer discounted rides to select employees in order to serve their commuting needs.

Angela Bowie, public policy manager Lyft in Pennsylvania, announced yesterday at the City-County Building in Downtown that the goal of the project is to make mobility issues less of a barrier for new workers.

“Not everyone has been able to access the benefits of the burgeoning economy in Pittsburgh,” said Bowie at a press conference. “Studies have shown that commuting times are the single strongest factor in the odds of escaping poverty.”


Department of Labor & Industry: L&I announces $4.6 million in PAsmart grants available to connect employers, create new job training opportunities

Harrisburg, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak today announced that nearly $4.6 million in PAsmart grants are available to create more opportunities for Pennsylvania workers to increase their job skills and earn quality wages.

“PAsmart is helping build a world class workforce by investing in an education and training system that helps workers while also being responsive to employers’ needs,” said Secretary Oleksiak. “These PAsmart Next Generation Industry Partnership grants bring together multiple employers in the same industry to provide targeted job training so that students, workers, and job seekers get the skills they need to succeed in today’s global economy.”

Governor Tom Wolf secured $30 million for PAsmart last year and $40 million this year. In addition to the Next Generation Industry Partnership grants announced today, L&I will soon begin accepting applications for nearly $6.6 million in apprenticeship grants. The governor recently announced the availability of $20 million in PAsmart funding to advance science and technology education through the Department of Education.

“These grants are another example of the governor’s commitment to boost workforce development efforts across the commonwealth,” Oleksiak added. “Our regional workforce and economic development partners will use these grants to bring multiple organizations together at the same table to meet the skills needs of businesses and career goals of workers.”

PAsmart Next Generation Industry Partnership grants of up to $250,000 per partnership, are available through L&I to connect employers in the same industry to support job training in: advanced manufacturing; agriculture and food production; bio […]

Gov. Wolf: $20 Million in PAsmart Grants Available to Advance Science and Technology Education

Building on the highly successful launch of his PAsmart initiative last year, Governor Tom Wolf today announced up to $20 million in grants are available to prepare students for the fast-growing fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and computer science (CS).

“PAsmart is strategically investing in science and technology education so students get the skills they need for emerging jobs in high demand,” said Governor Wolf. “The grants encourage businesses and schools to develop partnerships that focus education on the knowledge students will need to succeed in growing industries.

“Through PAsmart, we are developing the most prepared and talented workforce in the country, which will help students excel, grow the middle class, and strengthen the economy for everyone,” he said.

The governor secured $30 million for PAsmart last year and $40 million this year. The Department of Education will award $20 million for STEM and computer science education through PAsmart Targeted Pre-K-12 grants and Advancing grants. The Department of Labor and Industry will soon announce applications for $10 million for apprenticeships and industry partnerships. Funding for career and technical education also increased by $10 million.

“Pennsylvania is a national leader for offering innovative computer science and STEM learning, which is critical to ensuring that students are college, career, and community ready when they graduate,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. “PAsmart Targeted and Advancing grants help train educators to provide high-quality STEM and CS experiences in their classrooms. They also promote community partnerships to ensure all students of all ages, including those who […]

Apply to be a 2020 STEM Ambassador!

The STEM Ambassador Program is a 10-month leadership training opportunity and a strategic way to advance state STEM/workforce policy goals through education, targeting relationships with policymakers, and building a coalition of local and regional support. More information can be found here.

Department of Labor & Industry: Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate at 4.2 percent

Text of Nov. 15 press release.

Total nonfarm jobs reach new record high.

Harrisburg, PA – Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) released its employment situation report for October 2019.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was up two-tenths of a percentage point from September to 4.2 percent. The national rate was up one-tenth of a percentage point over the month to 3.6 percent. The commonwealth’s unemployment rate matched last October’s rate while the national rate was down two-tenths of a percentage point over the year.

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force – the estimated number of residents working or looking for work – was up 23,000 over the month to 6,516,000, the fourth straight gain. Employment was up by 13,000 and unemployment rose by 11,000.

The estimated number of jobs in Pennsylvania, referred to as total nonfarm jobs, increased 8,400 over the month to a record high of 6,065,000 in October. Jobs were up in 10 of the 11 industry supersectors. The largest supersector movement from September was a gain of 2,500 professional & business services jobs. Trade, transportation & utilities, education & health services all rose to record high levels in October.

Over the year, total nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania were up 34,300 with gains in nine of the 11 supersectors. The largest volume change from last October among supersectors was an increase of 11,300 government jobs, buoyed by gains in all three component sectors (federal, state, and local).

Additional information is available on the L&I website at or by following us on Facebook

Department of Labor & Industry: Wolf administration to invest $3.5 million in job training for students

Harrisburg, PA – The Wolf Administration to invest $3.5 million in students and young adults to provide job training and work experiences that will increase their skills and strengthen Pennsylvania’s workforce, Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak announced today.

“Pennsylvania employers need skilled workers to help them succeed and thrive,” said Secretary Oleksiak. “The State/Local Internship Program creates a diverse and job-ready talent pool for employers, while providing students with career experience as they prepare to enter the workforce.”

L&I will provide $3.5 million in grants from State/Local Internship Program (SLIP) funds is to local workforce development boards (LWDBs). These programs provide eight-week, full-time, paid work experiences to young adults between the age of 16 and 24 in a variety of industries including manufacturing, health care, logistics/ transportation, information technology and business services. The 2020 SLIP will operate for eight-weeks between May 1 and August 28, 2020.

“Last year the commonwealth funded SLIP, which helped place more than 1,128 youth and young adults in summer internships at 657 worksites across Pennsylvania,” Oleksiak added. “These partnerships provide participating interns with the crucial first work experience that helps develop the job skills they need for future employment success.”

The grant funding to encourage job training opportunities supports Governor Tom 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.

The 2020 SLIP is funded 100 percent through federal money made […]

Rep. Craig Staats: Governor signs Staats bill to overhaul career and technical education, promote workforce development

HARRISBURG – This week, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law a bill sponsored by Rep. Craig Staats (R-Bucks), which represents the most significant reform of Pennsylvania’s career and technical (CTE) education laws in more than 30 years.

Act 76 – 2019 is an omnibus bill aimed at enhancing career and technical education, job training and workforce development that will help to prepare Pennsylvania students for the workforce and attract employers and economic development to the Commonwealth,” said Staats.

“I am particularly proud of a provision in the bill that I advanced, which will provide high school and college students with access to information regarding the transfer policies of other educational institutions,” Staats said. “Act 76 expands an existing searchable online database at the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to provide students with information on the transfer policies between public schools and institutions of higher education, helping them to avoid spending thousands of dollars on coursework and materials only to learn that credits will not transfer to certain institutions.”

The new law requires school districts, intermediate units, vocational-technical schools, charter schools and cyber charter schools – as well as Northern Pennsylvania Regional College, state-related institutions, and Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, to submit their transfer agreements, known as articulation agreements, to PDE for inclusion in the database.

Act 76 also establishes an online career resource center; surveys existing workforce development programs that emphasize business-education partnerships and develops best practices to enhance these efforts. It also requires occupational advisory committees to be established at Intermediate Units (IU) to ensure […]

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 […]

PA Workforce Development Association