Governor Tom Wolf has announced nearly $4.7 million in PAsmart Next Generation Industry Partnership grants were awarded to bolster workforce development across Pennsylvania.
“Employers need skilled workers now more than ever,” said Governor Wolf. “My administration created PAsmart to help close the skills gap and allow more people to get the education and training they need to get better paying jobs. Strengthening job and skills training continues to be a priority and the 28 grants announced today further enhances that goal.”
The Next Generation Industry Partnership grants bring together multiple employers in the same industry to collectively provide targeted job training so that students, workers, and job seekers get the skills for good jobs in those industries.
“Programs like the Next Generation Industry Partnership are helping Pennsylvania be at the forefront of the economic changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Department of Labor & Industry Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier. “By aligning businesses in the same industry to create training programs, we can provide Pennsylvania workers with the skills they need for today’s job opportunities while helping multiple businesses develop a strong candidate pool.”
The Wolf Administration has invested $88 million through the PAsmart since 2018. The initiative provided $28 million to expand job training through registered apprenticeships and industry partnerships and $60 million to support STEM and computer science education in hundreds of schools across Pennsylvania.
This funding is in addition to $6.5 million in PAsmart grants awarded to expand apprenticeship job training. Those grants support registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship through ambassador networks, build a diverse talent pipeline while expanding non-traditional registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships and build diversity within the construction and building trades.
The following PAsmart grant winners and amounts were awarded, in part, to Bucks County. To view full details, visit PAsmart Next Generation Industry Partnership Grants.
Greater Philadelphia Healthcare Partnership (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia – $45,000) – This partnership is transitioning to the Next Generation Industry Partnership model and is focused on engaging employer partners through this transition. Other priorities include convening education, economic and workforce development partners, developing a formal employer driven action plan, and positioning the partnership for long-term sustainability.
Healthcare Connect (Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia – $250,000) – The partnership is focused on addressing three primary challenges within the regional healthcare system, including a shortage of qualified workers, a lack of transportation options, and a lack of business-critical skills, or what some employers describe as “soft skills.” Action teams have been developed to address these challenges.
Innovative Technology Action Group (ITAG) (Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia – $250,000) – This partnership has been operating for more than twenty years and transitioned to a Next Generation Industry Partnership in 2018. Business identified goals include continued expansion of the employer base in the partnership and the increased engagement of public partners. Action teams have been formed around the priorities of incumbent worker training, increasing diversity and inclusion in the sector, youth career exploration, and improving tech job seeker resources.
Smart Energy Initiative of Southeastern PA (Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia – $220,000) – This partnership relaunched as a Next Generation Industry Partnership in 2017, focusing on the promotion of growth of the “smart” energy industry by providing comprehensive workforce and economic development services to partnering companies. Over the past several years, the partnership has focused on worker training, career exploration and awareness, increasing public-private partnerships, and will continue to build upon these efforts.
Southeastern PA Manufacturing Alliance (SEPMA) (Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia – $250,000) – This partnership was formed in 2007 prior to transitioning to the Next Generation Industry Partnership model in 2018. Priorities include sourcing qualified talent and upskilling the incumbent workforce, developing business marketing and sales opportunities for future growth, and business partnership engagement and sustainability.