Governor Wolf Announces Grant for New Manufacturing Training Program in the Lehigh Valley

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Wolf announced the approval of new funding to support the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) in coordination with the Lehigh Carbon Community College and Workforce Board Lehigh Valley in the development of a new manufacturing training program for the Lehigh Valley.

“In order to strengthen our manufacturing sector and empower our workforce, we need to support the ability for workers to get the crucial skills they need to get a stable, high-paying job in manufacturing,” Governor Wolf said. “That’s why this grant is such great news for the Lehigh Valley. It will enable people to enter the manufacturing workforce for the first time and will provide a great benefit to manufacturers in the area as well. It’s truly a win-win situation.”

The grant will provide $135,000 to MRC to develop a new training program, in coordination with the Lehigh Carbon Community College and Workforce Board Lehigh Valley, based on the input of local manufacturers about their greatest workforce needs. The 16-week training program will serve as a short-term work readiness program to provide participants with critical skills aligned to entry-level jobs in manufacturing. In the first year of the program, it is expected to provide 20 trainees with certifications and transferrable college credits to assist entry into the manufacturing workforce.

“The new program has two main goals: first, it will be a great tool for individuals looking to better understand and land a job in manufacturing because it will be based on the needs of local manufacturers,” said Jack Pfunder, president and CEO of MRC. “It will also be a great way for manufactures to better assess the critical talents and knowledge that the applicants have that are needed for entry level positions.”

The Pennsylvania Manufacturing Training-to-Career grant is designed to provide funding for training programs to help unemployed and underemployed individuals, as well as those with barriers, to gain the skills they need to gain employment in the manufacturing sector. Eligible applicants include technical and trade schools, universities, and nonprofit organizations that develop new and innovative training programs and partner with two or more manufacturers. Governor Wolf recently announced other Training-to-Career grants to the Greater Johnstown Career & Technical Center and Robert Morris University.

The Training-to-Career grant is one of three components of Governor Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative, along with Industrial Resource Centers and the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Innovation Program, that was launched in October 2017. This initiative ensures that training leads not simply to any job, but to careers that provide higher pay and opportunities for advancement. Working with DCED’s strategic partners, including Industrial Resource Centers (IRCs), Pennsylvania’s colleges, universities, technical schools, and non-profit organizations, this initiative fosters collaboration and partnerships to accelerate technology advancement, encourage innovation and commercialization, and build a 21st century workforce.

For more information about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to manufacturing, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
J.J. Abbott, Governor’s Office, 717.783.1116
Michael Gerber, DCED, 717.783.1132

# # #