Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier announced grant awards totaling $1.8 million to continue the expansion of Pennsylvania’s growing network of registered apprenticeship programs.
With funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Building America Initiative, L&I will support the efforts of nine local workforce development boards to increase apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities among underrepresented populations.
The Bucks County Department of Workforce & Economic Development and MontcoWorks are receiving $366,666 to fund a new apprenticeship-focused initiative to serve their workforce development areas in the Greater Philadelphia region. The partners will develop two registered apprenticeship programs in construction and two registered pre-apprenticeship programs in advanced manufacturing. This joint initiative aims to accelerate the growth of local apprenticeship ecosystems and expand a workforce pipeline of skilled talent in manufacturing and welding to ensure economic health within the region.
“Pennsylvania’s registered apprenticeship system offers workers the opportunity to learn in-demand skills while they also earn a paycheck. For employers, apprenticeship is an investment in their workforce, something especially important for businesses competing for talent in an increasingly tight labor market,” said Berrier. “These grants will provide further structure and support for apprenticeships, solidifying opportunities to earn family-sustaining wages without taking on debt so individuals can continue to thrive in the commonwealth.”
The Apprenticeship Building America grant program enables states to expand and modernize registered apprenticeships by increasing the number of programs, adding apprentices, promoting diversity across industries, improving opportunities for underrepresented and underserved communities, and increasing accessibility and equity of programming for all apprentices.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that, on average, apprentices earn a starting wage of $77,000 per year after graduation and are on track to earn $300,000 more over their careers compared to workers who do not graduate from an apprenticeship program. For every dollar spent on apprenticeships, employers get an average of $1.47 back in increased productivity.