HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier announced the availability of $12.5 million in PAsmart grants to support the growth of registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships to create opportunities in new industries and occupations for Pennsylvania workers to advance along career pathways.
“Apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships create hands-on learning environments that allow workers to learn important skills while they earn,” said Secretary Berrier. “These PAsmart grants will enable the expansion of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities to new industries, allowing a greater variety of businesses to develop the skilled workforce they need to succeed.”
Created by Governor Tom Wolf, PAsmart is designed to better align education, workforce and economic development initiatives and funding. Apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships are a key part of this plan because they bring together employers, educational institutions, and workers to create a pipeline of skilled, talented workers who are learning while they earn a wage.
L&I’s Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO) will provide two competitive grant opportunities to align, expand and diversify the apprenticeship model to include both traditional and non-traditional occupations, program models and populations. Up to $11.5 million will be provided to build, support, and expand registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs with specific focus on diverse talent pipelines and underserved populations, non-traditional occupations, alignment with secondary and/or post-secondary educational institutions, and expedited growth through multi-county or statewide initiatives. In addition, up to $1 million is available to support registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships through ambassador networks across the commonwealth
Since the ATO was created in 2016, it has assisted in creating 352 Registered Apprenticeship Programs. In total, the team supports 892 individual program sponsors and 1,504 Registered Apprenticeship Programs across the commonwealth, as well as 17,797 active registered apprentices as of June 2021.
Additional details and the grant application can be found on L&I’s website. Grant applications are due by 5 p.m. Oct. 13, 2021.