Governor Wolf Announces New Apprenticeship Opportunities for Construction and Heavy Equipment Operation in Western Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Wolf announced the approval of a grant to PA Heavy & Highway to expand its apprenticeship program to train additional workers in the fields of heavy equipment operation, construction form carpentry, and construction labor. The funding will build on the governor’s commitment to expanding job training opportunities for Pennsylvanians and will support the development of young talent in an industry facing the looming challenge of an aging workforce.

“Apprenticeships give companies the ability to infuse new talent into their workforce and ensure their employment base is highly-skilled and highly-trained for years to come,” Governor Wolf said. “Not only will this grant help employers in the western part of the commonwealth, but it will put workers into family-sustaining careers in the construction and heavy equipment operation fields.”

The grant will provide a total of $99,000 over three years to support PA Heavy & Highway’s existing apprenticeship program. The added funding will enable 10 additional apprentices to complete a three-year training program to provide them with crucial skills and knowledge for construction and heavy equipment operation. Apprentices in the program are required to attend a minimum of 144 instructional hours per year on their apprenticeship focus. This coursework supplements the on-the-job training apprentices receive from their employers. Apprenticeships in the heavy & highway industry are particularly vital due to an aging and retiring workforce that will soon require a larger pool of younger skilled workers.

“This funding will help us in our efforts to expand our apprenticeship program and further support our apprentices so they can become skilled and highly-sought-after workers achieving great careers,” said Mark Mace, training coordinator for PA Heavy & Highway. “We appreciate the support from the Wolf Administration as we continue to help develop the workforce of western Pennsylvania.”

Apprenticeships are a key component of Governor Wolf’s first-of-its-kind $30 million PAsmart initiative, part of which includes a $10 million investment in apprenticeships and job training. PAsmart will expand apprenticeships in traditional and non-traditional occupations through the Wolf Administration’s Apprenticeship Training Office (ATO) and encourage businesses, community colleges and other higher education providers to expand registered apprenticeships and work-based learning experiences for adults. It will also expand the Department of Labor and Industry’s successful Industry Partnerships program, which connects similar businesses with educational and economic development partners to provide the job training.

Since the ATO was created in early 2016, the office has registered 113 new sponsors and 158 new apprenticeship programs or occupations, bringing the total number of registered apprentices to 15,972 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.

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

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