Governor Wolf Announces Additional Apprenticeship Opportunities for Careers in Plumbing, HVAC, and Weatherization in Greater Philadelphia Area
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Wolf announced the approval of new funding to expand apprenticeship opportunities in the city of Philadelphia and Delaware County. The two grants, approved for the Pennsylvania Association of Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors (PAPHCC) and the Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia, underscore the governor’s commitment to increasing job training opportunities for Pennsylvanians through apprenticeships.
“In today’s job market, we’re seeing incredible demand for skilled workers in the trades in southeast Pennsylvania and all across the commonwealth,” Governor Wolf said. “This new funding will provide additional opportunities for workers to get the skills they need to land these family-sustaining careers through apprenticeships in plumbing, HVAC, and weatherization.”
The first grant, approved for PAPHCC, will provide $297,000 over three years to help offset the cost of tuition expenses paid by students and employers for classroom training required as part of PAPHCC’s apprenticeship program in Aston, Delaware County. The grant will also help provide necessary classroom training technology and materials like smartboards, projectors, printers, shop materials, and books. Support of PAPHCC’s apprenticeship program is critical due to the high turnover of HVAC professionals in southeastern Pennsylvania due to an aging workforce in that field. For instance, the current shortage of qualified plumbers has caused a drastic increase in service fees and construction costs for plumbing work. This funding will support the training of 30 plumbers and HVAC professionals to help address this worker shortage in the region.
The second grant, approved for the Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia, will provide $33,000 over two years to increase the skills of Philadelphia’s weatherization workforce through the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Labor’s federally-approved apprenticeship program for home performance technicians. The funding will support the training of five individuals and will be used to offset costs associated with classroom instruction such as instructor pay, books, and exam fees. Classroom training will take place two days per week over two years, giving the students the required 145 hours of classroom instruction required by the apprenticeship program.
Apprenticeships are a key component of Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative, a new and innovative way to improve coordination between state agencies, cut red tape, and invest in people and business to expand innovative job training in apprenticeships and other programs so workers get the skills they need to compete in the global economy. The $30 million initiative includes $7 million to increase support for apprenticeships, with the goal of doubling the number of registered apprentices by 2025.
PAsmart also builds on the Wolf Administration’s Apprenticeship Training Office (ATO) which the administration established in 2016 to support and expand registered apprenticeship programs statewide. Since the ATO was created in early 2016, the office has registered 119 new sponsors and 166 new apprenticeship programs or occupations, bringing the total number of registered apprentices to 16,286 statewide.
For more information about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to workforce development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Michael Gerber, DCED, 717.783.1132