Harrisburg, PA (STL.News) Governor Tom Wolf announced a total of $500,000 in funding for Workforce Solutions for North Central PA and Rhoads Industries, through Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing Training-to-Career (MTTC) program, for the businesses to develop programs that bring awareness to careers and opportunities within the state’s manufacturing industry and support companies in identifying and training a skilled workforce through targeted programs and service.
“Pennsylvania’s history is rooted in manufacturing and industry opportunity awareness and training play a major role in maintaining that historic strength while supporting growth,” said Gov. Wolf. “As the industry continues to expand, more companies are looking to hire, and this funding helps prepare job seekers for obtaining good-paying careers in the manufacturing industry.”
Workforce Solutions for North Central PA was awarded $200,000 to launch an internship program to help address regional manufacturing employers’ difficulty in finding a skilled workforce to fill entry level and skilled positions. The internship program will assist the region in ensuring that high school, college, and technical school students of all ages are aware of the industry, as well as career opportunities available, by providing a quality internship for 50 participants, with a target to serve 50 employers in the manufacturing industry.
“We are so excited to be able to provide this internship opportunity to the manufacturing companies in our region, including the counties of Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and Potter. The internship program will assist companies with recruiting for current and future job openings and in attracting interns to stay here to work, live, and discover North Central Pennsylvania,” said Interim Executive Director Pam Streich. “Interns will receive a quality internship in addition to an introduction to the manufacturing industry, awareness of career pathways in the industry, as well as being exposed to all that our region has to offer. We are grateful to the Department of Community and Economic Development for this opportunity.”
Rhoads Industries was awarded $300,000 to develop and launch a regional workforce development pilot program in Southeastern Pennsylvania, in partnership with the U.S. Navy Shipbuilding Industrial Task Force and the Project Executive Office of the Columbia Class Submarine program, to address pipelines and critical trade skills needed to further advance the U.S. Navy’s priorities of labor force recruitment, development, and retention. The Navy has not only demonstrated the need to improve how it attracts and keeps civilian workers while it expands and modernizes but has also expressed an equal and dire need to offload man-hours to contractors in order to execute its maintenance and production directives.
“As a Naval submarine, surface ship and test site critical activity supplier, Rhoads Industries is thrilled for the opportunity to advance the Navy’s mission of developing workforce growth in our Philadelphia facility,” said Randy McCullough, Chief Human Resources Officer at Rhoads Industries. “This pilot will help industrial base employers accelerate critical trainings, establish pipelines and creating a mechanism for ramping up critical manufacturing infrastructure needed for Naval targeted growth throughout the region.”
Governor Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative was launched in October 2017, and since then has funded 56 projects and invested more than $12 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.