Wolf Administration Encourages Students to Pursue Manufacturing Careers at the Northeast PA ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?’ Student Video Contest Awards

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Deputy Secretary for Technology and Innovation Sheri Collins spoke at the inaugural “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” (WSCM) Student Video Contest Awards hosted by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC).

“WSCM is one of the best ways that we can reach young students and enable them to learn first-hand what makes manufacturing careers so rewarding,” Collins said. “Students not only discover the manufacturing career paths that are available to them after high school, but they have fun doing it. The contest is a great tool both for getting young people excited about their future and for connecting manufacturers with the next generation of their workers.”

WSCM is a manufacturing video contest for middle school students developed by a partnership directed by the Manufacturers Resource Center in 2013 and shared through the What’s So Cool platform. Initial funds were provided by a grant from DCED’s “Discovered in PA, Developed in PA” program. WSCM is dedicated to changing perceptions and attitudes in Pennsylvania about advanced manufacturing careers. This year’s Northeast PA contest featured 12 teams from Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, and Wayne counties.

“We are very excited to launch our first ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?’ competition in our region,” said Eric Joseph Esoda, president and CEO of NEPIRC. “The program’s success is spreading across the state and around the country because it promotes STEM education, updates the image of manufacturing, and creates a new understanding of opportunities within Pennsylvania’s largest industry. We are very grateful to our schools, regional manufacturers and partners for helping make this program a success.”

The Wolf Administration is actively encouraging students to pursue manufacturing careers in a number of ways, including creating the new $12 million Manufacturing PA program, which includes the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Training-to-Career Grant to help companies identify and train a skilled workforce. Governor Wolf also proposed a $10 million increase in Career and Technical Education funding in the 2018-19 budget. This funding will enable career and technical education programs to partner with industry and postsecondary education institutions to provide students with industry credentials as well as articulation agreements to support student success beyond high school graduation. The budget proposal also includes an additional $7 million in apprenticeship and work-based learning initiatives, with a goal of doubling the number of registered apprentices in the state by 2025.

For more information about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to manufacturing, visit the DCED website or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

Michael Gerber, 717.783.1132 or dcedpress@pa.gov

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