Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday announced the award of $2 million in reemployment funding to 10 Strategic Innovation grants across the commonwealth to support the state’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Combined State Plan
“These funds promote the development of workforce skills for commonwealth employees by employing creative and innovative workforce development strategies,” Gov. Wolf said. “Strategic Innovation grants not only expand the state’s pipeline of workers for targeted industry sectors, but also promote increased employment opportunities for Pennsylvanians with barriers to employment to obtain jobs that pay.”
Approved through the Department of Labor & Industry, Strategic Innovation grants work to improve the connection and responsiveness of workforce programs to the demand side of the labor market, and increase public-private investment in critical skills through multi-employer workforce partnerships.
“Establishing career pathways as a route for career advancement and development provides expanded employment opportunities for commonwealth residents,” said Sec. Manderino. “Engaging employers directly ensures that we can quickly address any skills gaps in order to meet current and future employment needs.”
A $300,000 grant was awarded to the South Central Workforce Development Board to design and implement rigorous, high-quality integrated education and training programs, which will combine basic-skills instruction with training for a specific occupation or industry, beginning in the fall 2017 semester.
SCPa Works will partner with the Lancaster Workforce Development Board, Lancaster-Lebanon IU13, the Literacy Council of Lancaster-Lebanon, Harrisburg Area Community College, and the Career and Technology Centers in Lancaster and Lebanon counties.
This project will target education and training programs in Lancaster and Lebanon counties for occupations designated “high priority,” and where data indicates higher dropout rates from training programs.
"The integrated education and training model is a promising practice across the country that we believe will greatly benefit South Central Pennsylvania residents,” said Chief Executive Officer of SCPa Works Jesse McCree. “By providing adult education and literacy services concurrently with contextual workforce preparation activities, we can help build strong career pathways that leads to better economic mobility."
Click Here for a full list of grantees and brief summaries of the funded projects.