The grants, totaling $4,056,000, will be used to develop employer-driven training programs so that job seekers acquire the skills needed to match jobs available now and into the future. These grants, first announced in March, help advance Gov. Corbett’s Talented Workers initiative launched as part of the governor’s 2014-15 proposed budget.
"When I meet with job creators, one of their most important needs is a highly skilled workforce that is prepared to take on the jobs of the 21st century,” said Corbett. “Bringing our PREP and LWIB partners together will result in creative, employer driven initiatives that will strengthen what I already consider the best workforce in the nation."
The JOBS1stPA Regional Partnership grants were awarded through the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s Re-employment Fund. Grants were awarded based on requested funding amounts and proposed activities by a review team comprised of representatives from both the Department of Labor & Industry and the Department of Community and Economic Development. Grant amounts awarded to each of the state’s regions are as follows:
Lehigh Valley: $500,000
North Central: $425,000
Northern Tier: $400,000
South Central: $300,000
Southern Alleghenies: $500,000
"We have an incredibly strong, talented and dedicated workforce at just over 6.4 million people – larger than the individual populations of 33 states,” said Corbett. “It truly is our people – their creativity, ingenuity, talents and skills – who drive companies to make Pennsylvania home.”
Statewide workforce development services are delivered at the local level through 22 LWIBs that manage 23 Local Workforce Investment Areas within the commonwealth. The local boards have a majority representation from the local employer community. Each Local Workforce Investment Area has at least one comprehensive PA CareerLink® center where workforce development services are delivered to both job seekers and employers. Funding from the U.S. Department of Labor supports the workforce development system within the commonwealth.
The state’s team of PREP partners works collectively to deliver economic development services. Funding from the commonwealth supports the PREP regions, whose partners in turn collectively decide how to distribute the funds within the region.
In 2012, Gov. Corbett launched JOBS1st PA as a comprehensive roadmap to economic recovery that harnessed the state’s resources and talents to prioritize private-sector job creation and retention. Today, Pennsylvania's unemployment rate stands at a five-year low and jobs have been growing on a consistent basis for nearly four years.
Building on JOBS1stPA’s successes, Gov. Corbett’s 2014-15 budget proposal focuses on two core areas: Make It in PA to ensure the continued resurgence of Pennsylvania’s manufacturing, life sciences and technology sectors, and Talented Workers to renew and strengthen the state’s investment in job training opportunities for all Pennsylvanians with more being invested in Pennsylvanians through workforce training.
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