Wolf Administration: New Robotics, Automated Technology Training Opportunities in Montgomery County

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced the approval of $200,000 in new funding for the Eastern Center for Arts and Technology’s (ECAT) Robotics and Automated Technology program to expand their Advanced Manufacturing offerings. The funding will build on the governor’s commitment to expanding job training opportunities in Pennsylvania.

“As the manufacturing industry in Pennsylvania continues to evolve and advance, it’s invaluable when organizations like ECAT act responsively to expand the education they offer to support the industry’s needs,” said Gov. Wolf. “My administration is proud to back programs like this that make opportunities accessible to a vast age range and assist students through the process of attaining internships—preparing individuals across-the-board for career placement and success.”

The grant will allow ECAT to invest in necessary equipment and building renovations, as well as cover costs related to curriculum development, student-paid internships, and instructor salaries. ECAT’s Robotics and Automated Technology program will serve individuals from middle-school age through adult learners, offering career exploration tours, half-day enrollment, and evening continuing education classes. The program will be available to 40 secondary students and 50 adult students and aims to connect at least 20 secondary students with paid internships each year.

“Robotics and automation have infiltrated a myriad of industries, from medical to manufacturing. This program creates multiple pathways for students including direct employment as technicians, assemblers, and programmers, and further education in a variety of engineering majors,” said EASTERN Executive Director Cathleen Plesnarski. “The grant awarded by the Department of Community and Economic Development will help Eastern Center for Arts and Technology collaborate with local employers and colleges to plan and implement this important training to students and adults, and to help connect these learners to paid internships by incentivizing employer participation.

ECAT offers high-quality, continuously evaluated and updated technical instruction, leadership opportunities, and specialized services, responding to the needs of students, business, and industry to provide students with an environment where they can make career decisions, acquire competitive skills, and prepare themselves for success in higher education.

Governor Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative was launched in October 2017, and since then has funded 35 projects and invested more than $9 million through the Training-to-Career program. Training-to-Career grants support projects that result in short-term work-readiness, job placement, or the advancement of manufacturing. The Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career program works collaboratively with local manufacturers to identify and teach missing essential skills for entry level applicants seeking manufacturing employment, engage youth or those with barriers to career opportunities in manufacturing, and or advance capacity for local or regional manufacturers.

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

Casey Smith, DCED, casesmith@pa.gov

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