(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — As the Shaprio administration continues to encourage students to chart their own path to success, new funding is being provided to boost this effort across Pennsylvana’s northwest region.

According to a release, $200,000 will be given to support manufacturing programs at the Northwest PA Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC) and inspire students to work with regional employers.

“The Shapiro administration is investing in the Commonwealth’s next generation of workers and making Pennsylvania a place where everyone can chart their own rewarding career course,” said Rick Siger, secretary for the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

NWIRC’s “Project Manufacturing Talent Stream” will receive the funding through a Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career (MTTC) grant to introduce and implement two new programs to the region (Dream Team and STEAM Club), leverage existing community programs and innovate new initiatives.

The project will bring students and other future job seekers together onsite with manufacturers to explore and connect with career opportunities.

“Using our investment in Project Manufacturing Talent Stream, the NWIRC will identify students looking for a career path and workers already in the job market and show them the exciting and well-paying manufacturing opportunities that are available right now in the region,” Siger continued.

The impacts Project Manufacturing Talent Stream will have on the regional manufacturing industry include: 

  • Developing, coordinating, and promoting a PA Dream Team for manufacturing in Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties;
  • Launching STEAM Clubs at select high schools; 
  • Connecting manufacturers to new sources of future talent; and  
  • Leveraging existing workforce development and career exploration programs in the region 

“Within our mission to support the challenges of manufacturers in our 13-county region, we know one is finding employees and we’ve made it a strategic priority to be part of the solution to stir up excitement around manufacturing and connect manufacturers with new talent,” said Bob Zaruta, NWIRC President/CEO. “Through this initiative, the over-arching goal is to provide new opportunities and create awareness about existing opportunities for manufacturers to share with students the cool things they make and do and have inspiring career conversations.”

For more information on the grant funding or the MTTC program, visit this website.