Wolf Administration: Northampton Community College Training Program Supports Lehigh Valley Manufacturing Industry

Bethlehem, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin toured Northampton Community College’s (NCC) Micro-credentials in Manufacturing training lab with NCC President Mark Erickson, NCC Vice President Dave Ruth, partner representatives from Reeb Millwork, school officials, and met with students currently in training.

“We are fortunate to see firsthand the impressive operation that NCC is running with its Micro-credentials in Manufacturing program and to hear educational and hiring success stories from both students and regional manufacturing partners,” said Secretary Davin. “This training is all-encompassing and only strengthens the Lehigh Valley’s growing manufacturing industry, which has had a reputation in our commonwealth for supporting major manufacturing companies for years.”

Secretary Davin toured NCC’s Fab Lab with NCC officials and met with students and staff currently participating in metal assembly and fasteners module training. Additionally, he met with representatives from one of NCC’s regional manufacturing partners, Reeb Millwork, to learn how the company collaborates with the college to funnel new talent directly into available positions.

“Community colleges are uniquely positioned to meet the growing demand for skilled workers required for our state to remain economically competitive,” says President of Northampton Community College Dr. Mark Erickson. “At Northampton Community College, our agility allows us to respond in real time to the pressing needs of the dynamic, diverse communities we serve. Through the Micro-credentials in Manufacturing program, we are aligning education, economic development, and workforce development to meet the needs of high-demand manufacturing industries looking for skilled employees. At the same time, we are opening the doors of opportunity for our students by providing them with the tools to begin a meaningful career in this vital industry.”

Last year, Governor Tom Wolf announced the approval of new funding for NCC to continue to grow its Micro-credentials in Manufacturing program. NCC designed the industry-validated, 9-week training program to provide opportunities for 60 un- or underemployed participants to gain entry into the manufacturing industry and earn life-sustaining wages. The 180-hour program was developed in partnership with regional manufacturers to meet the need for in-demand positions.

In January, Gov. Wolf built on that commitment to manufacturing innovation and creating the strongest workforce in the nation when he announced an ambitious budget proposal to fuel innovation across Pennsylvania, making the commonwealth a national competitor in attracting and retaining entrepreneurs and startups through strategic funding and community support. The plan utilizes three fundamental building blocks—education, workforce development, and economic development—and includes a $12.35 million funding increase to drive an evidence-based, statewide innovation strategy.

“The Wolf Administration’s commitment to Pennsylvania’s workforce honors the incredible strides we’ve already made in the innovation space while recognizing the work that we have yet to do,” said Secretary Davin. “These new investments will leverage our strengths and accomplishments to grow innovation in technology, manufacturing, and entrepreneurship for generations to come.”

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 the Wolf Administration’s commitment to manufacturing or DCED, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

J.J. Abbott, Governor’s Office, 717.783.1116
Casey Smith, DCED, 717.783.1132

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