Wolf Administration Celebrates Groundbreaking of Mock Town for Students to Learn Workforce Skills

South Fayette, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin joined students and school officials for the groundbreaking of the Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania (JA) BizTown in South Fayette township.

“The Pittsburgh region is one of the fastest growing markets nationally,” Secretary Davin said. “The Wolf Administration is committed to building a pipeline of future talent, and JA BizTown shares that goal. Not only does BizTown provide our students with the skills they need to pursue career opportunities across all major industry sectors, but it also teaches them how to apply those skills in everyday life scenarios.”

JA BizTown is a fully-interactive community simulation that enables 5th and 6th grade students to obtain first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to run a business and manage personal and business finances. The initiative aligns with Governor Wolf’s Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP) proposal, which focuses on workforce development opportunities from birth to retirement.

“JA BizTown is a dress rehearsal for life. It’s a fully-interactive community simulation that brings to life the business and other elements of what make day to day life successful in our cities and towns,” said Dennis Gilfoyle, President & CEO of Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania. “Through JA BizTown, the goal is to educate our young people about the careers in our region and why western Pennsylvania is a great place to start a career and a family. JA BizTown will be a solution provider to our area’s workforce challenges.”

The governor’s SWEAP proposal will expand access to early childhood education, increase investments in schools, and foster partnerships with the private sector to build on the success of the PAsmart initiative. Governor Wolf launched PAsmart last year to prepare students and workers for the jobs of today and tomorrow. PAsmart expanded STEM, computer science education, and apprenticeship and job training to close the skills gap and rapidly meet the needs of employers. Unveiled in the governor’s 2019-2020 budget proposal, SWEAP will provide further workforce training opportunities for Pennsylvanians from birth to retirement.

For more information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit PAsmart. To learn about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to workforce development and DCED, visit the DCED website or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Michael Gerber, DCED, 717-783-1132

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