(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) – Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier announced $2.5 million in available funding for Schools-to-Work grants.

These grants were created to develop and enhance workforce development partnerships between schools, employers, organizations or associations for pre-apprenticeship and training pathways for students.

This round of Schools-to-Work funding follows two previous rounds of grants in recent months (more information on Round 1 and Round 2) totaling about $5.6 million to 24 programs.

“This round of funding for the Schools-to-Work program will continue to support programming for students that goes beyond the start of an early career path,” Berrier said. “The partnerships formed between students and organizations prepare them for future high-demand jobs and careers that offer family-sustaining wages, giving them the ability to improve their quality of life and contribute to economic and workforce development in the commonwealth.”

The $2.5 million of available funding will be awarded in increments up to $250,000 to be used for classroom training, workplace visits, internships, apprenticeships, mentorships, employment opportunities, job shadowing, and externships, as well as additional resources.

Successful project applications should create career opportunities that lessen the gap between high school and employment or post-secondary education through the use of pre-apprenticeships.

Applicants must be registered with the department as a pre-apprenticeship program and be connected to a registered apprenticeship program that will be responsible for administering and operating a pre-apprenticeship program.

Recipients of Schools-to-Work grants in Round 1 (period of performance June 1, 2021 – Dec. 31, 2023) or Round 2 (period of performance July 1, 2022 – Dec. 31, 2024) are not eligible to apply for Round 3 of Schools-to-Work grants.

Additional details and the grant application for the Schools-to-Work grants can be found on L&I’s website.