Rendell Announces $9.4 Million Investment in Industry Partnerships, Workforce Training to Strengthen Pennsylvania’s Economy

125 Grants Leverage Private Matching Funds for $18.8 Million Total Investment

HARRISBURG – Workers in key industries statewide will be able to improve their skills and employers will become more competitive through Pennsylvania’s new $9.4 million investment in industry partnerships and worker training, Gov. Edward G. Rendell announced.

“This investment will boost Pennsylvania’s economic growth by developing and retaining a highly skilled, well-trained workforce that helps businesses to compete in the global marketplace,” said Rendell.

“Supporting advanced training for working men and women, career-focused education for young people and collaboration among businesses in vital industries will speed and strengthen Pennsylvania’s economic recovery.”

The investments provide $7.3 million for workforce training in key industries and $2.1 million to develop industry partnerships in which employers, workers and workers’ representatives cooperate to improve their collective competitive position.

Combined with at least $9.4 million in private-sector funds, the total investment for these projects is more than $18.8 million.

More than 75,000 workers have been trained through more than 75 industry partnerships involving more than 6,300 businesses. Legislation now pending in the General Assembly would permanently establish the industry partnerships as part of the commonwealth’s workforce development efforts.

“Industry partnerships have been instrumental in helping employers remain competitive even during the recession,” said Rendell. “I urge the General

Assembly to pass the legislation — under consideration in both chambers right now — that would make this highly successful and proven program a permanent part of our workforce development system.”

Industry partnerships can identify specific training needs and skill gaps, help connect young people to careers, help educational and training institutions arrange curriculum to meet business demands, address worker recruitment and retention, develop career ladders within companies, highlight best practices and promote communication among companies.

Applications and eligibility guidelines for industry partnership and industry partnership worker training program grants are available online. From there, click “Job Ready PA,” then “Strengthening Pennsylvania’s Industries,” then “Industry Partnerships.”

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