Wolf Administration Encourages Students to Pursue Manufacturing Careers

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Deputy Secretary for Business Financing Carol Kilko spoke at the fifth annual “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” (WSCM) Student Video Contest Awards hosted by the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC).

“This initiative has been such a fantastic tool for not just engaging our students and getting them to look at exciting careers, but also for having our employers get directly involved with the community and interact with the future talent pool in their area,” Kilko said. “The Wolf Administration is proud to support this initiative because we know that the manufacturing industry is the foundation of Pennsylvania’s economy.”

WSCM is a manufacturing video contest for middle school students developed by a partnership directed by MRC 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 Lehigh Valley contest included 30 teams representing 22 school districts from Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties, and a pilot team from Bucks County.

“The students and their teachers put an amazing amount of work into their projects, meeting with manufacturers, filming and editing their videos,” said Jack Pfunder, president & CEO of MRC. “The success of this program across the state of Pennsylvania, and the country, validates its design, which is to raise awareness about manufacturing career opportunities for our students.”

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, and continue to stay up-to-date with small business activities in Pennsylvania by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook using the hashtag #PASmallBiz to follow the conversation.

Michael Gerber, DCED, 717.783.1132 or dcedpress@pa.gov

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