Shapiro Administration looks to boost apprenticeships, construction trades

Ed Gruver//March 28, 2023

Shapiro Administration looks to boost apprenticeships, construction trades

Ed Gruver//March 28, 2023

An additional round of grant funding to create more opportunities in Pennsylvania apprenticeships and construction trades was announced Monday by the Shapiro Administration. 

The additional $1 million round of grant funding was announced by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I). The funding is being made available to Pennsylvania registered apprenticeship programs to expand opportunities, promote diverse talent, and reach underrepresented populations withing the building and construction trades. 

Applications are due by 5 p.m. on April 26, 2023. 

L&I Acting Secretary Nancy Walker said her department is committed to serving the state’s workforce by creating more opportunities and pathways to success in apprenticeship programs. 

“Pennsylvania’s economic future depends on a well-educated and highly trained workforce,” Walker said in a statement. “These grants will open the doors of opportunity to more Pennsylvanians and grow our economy – a key priority of Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal.” 

Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposes a $23.8 million investment in workforce training and apprenticeship programs and strengthening skills-building programs that lead to family-sustaining wages. As a workforce development strategy, registered apprenticeships have a track record of success in advancing workers’ careers but are behind in serving populations that are underrepresented. 

In 2022, women represented just 13% of the completed Registered Apprenticeships and 15% of new apprentices, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Women comprised just 10.9% of the construction industry in 2022. 

L&I’s Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO) was established in 2016 and is responsible for guiding and promoting the compliance and expansion of registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. The ATO supports 868 unduplicated program sponsors and 1,573 occupation-specific registered apprenticeship programs across Pennsylvania.