Project SPARK, through the state’s Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Program, has received new funding to help recruit and train 150 people to boost the skilled workforce in Lancaster County.
“Providing a strong pipeline of talent to the manufacturing industry is vital for its continued success in Pennsylvania,” Gov. Tom Wolf said Thursday. “The commonwealth has seen great success through programs such as Project SPARK, being run by Lancaster County Career and Technical Center, and the Wolf Administration remains committed to continuing to invest in these important programs.”
The state is awarding Project SPARK a $94,000 grant through the MTTC. Project SPARK was created with the intention of bringing more young workers into the manufacturing field by focusing on recent Lancaster County Career and Technical Center (LCCTC) graduates that had not attained workforce and technical skills for a career.
This funding will allow Project SPARK to expand the program beyond young workers to unemployed adults and newly hired employees who are missing essential skills, Wolf said.
The funding builds upon the previous MTTC investment of $92,000 in grant funding to Project SPARK in 2018.
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology plans to use a $200,000 Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Program (MTTC) to fund a full-time Workforce Development Manager.
Governor Tom Wolf announced the new funding today to expand short-term workforce training programs for adults to help meet the current workforce need.
“The manufacturing industry plays a key role in Pennsylvania’s economy, and ensuring we have the workforce to staff it is critical,” Wolf said. “As the need for trained skilled trade workers continues, we look to institutions like Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology to not only maintain our workforce, but to develop new programs that will keep the commonwealth on the forefront of the manufacturing industry.”
The college plans to hire industry specific consultants to support the expansion and development of programs offered, the college said. Through these investments, the college expects to double enrollment in Production Welding, Commercial Industrial Electrical, Commercial Industrial HVAC, Commercial Industrial Plumbing, and Commercial Industrial Facilities Maintenance Technology, and plans to develop new training modules in each of these programs, as well.
In addition, the college will develop new MIG and TIG Production Welding programs, a new Metal Fabrication and Welding Tech Program, and a new Manufacturing Software Engineering Tech program.
“As part of our mission, through workforce training and education, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology helps to enhance the quality of life for Pennsylvania residents by providing the skills needed to fill in-demand jobs,” said Pedro Rivera, president of Thaddeus Stevens College. “This funding will expand access to workforce training programs, increasing employability skills, and impacting lifelong economic prosperity as individuals who complete these programs accept family-sustaining jobs, which will help them purchase homes, build wealth, and contribute to our collective community.”
Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative was launched in October 2017 and since has funded 76 projects and invested more than $16.6 million through the Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Grant 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 Grant 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.
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