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Category Archives: News

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

Governor: Gov. Wolf, business and labor leaders unveil strategy to strengthen Pennsylvania’s workforce

Text of Jan. 27 press release.

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf was joined by leaders of business, labor and economic development, and several cabinet members today to release the first report from the governor’s Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center. The strategic public-private partnership, created by Gov. Wolf last February, identifies barriers to employment and provides recommendations for action by the governor, legislature, and private sector.

“Workers and businesses need to be at their best to thrive, which benefits all of us,” said Governor Wolf. “Employment is high, but too many people are in low-wage jobs and many businesses cannot find or retain skilled workers.

“I challenged the Command Center to find innovative solutions so workers can get the skills to compete for good jobs and industry has the workforce to succeed in the global economy. The Command Center has outlined a series of recommendations. I commend them for their efforts and pledge to continue working with the legislature and the private sector to put these recommendations into action.”

The Command Center identified five barriers preventing people from working and employers from hiring qualified candidates: access to affordable childcare, job training, or transportation to a workplace, burdensome occupational licensing requirements, and challenges for people re-entering the workforce from the criminal justice system.

The Command Center provided 42 recommendations to address employment barriers, including:

Recommendations for the Wolf Administration:

• Encourage and incentivize commercial and residential development to consider access to transportation infrastructure when making decisions about business expansion or relocation.
• Leverage additional federal workforce development funds to address […]

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Pennsylvania Awards $2.4 Million to Help Schools and Employers Prepare Students for In-Demand Careers

Governor Tom Wolf today announced more than $2.4 million has been awarded to local workforce development boards (LWDBs) to help businesses and school districts work together to better prepare students for in-demand careers across Pennsylvania.

“These investments will give students the technical training they need to get good-paying jobs when they join the workforce,” said Governor Wolf. “Building business and education partnerships will help ensure our students have the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy, while simultaneously creating new generations of highly-skilled workers for Pennsylvania employers.”


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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.”



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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.

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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.”


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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.

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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).

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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 […]

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PA Workforce Development Association