Bizzarro announces nearly $800K in apprenticeship funding

Money will boost PA’s job training, workforce development

ERIE, Aug. 24 – In an effort to improve workforce development, job training and Pennsylvania’s number of skilled laborers, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro announced nearly $800,000 in grant funding statewide for pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs.

“As chairman of the Policy Committee, employers and organized labor have stressed the need for increasing Pennsylvania’s skilled labor workforce,” Bizzarro said. “The funds approved today will improve job opportunities around the state and have a direct and positive impact on the state’s economy.”

Of the projects approved, nearly $400,000 is expected to have a positive impact in Erie County and the northwest region.  

One of the projects announced that will affect Erie includes $200,000 to expand the state’s number of highly skilled broadband workers to meet increased demand. The funding has been approved for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1319, its employer partners and its apprenticeship training arm – Northeastern Apprenticeship and Training (NEAT) – to expand its apprenticeship program. The program will serve and impact Erie County and more than 30 other counties around the state.

Erie will also see the benefit of a grant for nearly $200,000 for NuPaths to expand its current Network Technician pre-apprenticeship program statewide for young people and adults. The program increases the number of broadband technician and engineer support job opportunities, providing students with five industry-wide recognized certifications, college credits and business skills workshops.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Statewide Broadband Plan, released in November of last year, detailed the need to focus on technology and job development. It detailed how more than 2.6 million residents are living in households without access to the internet or the skills necessary to successfully use technology in a job setting.

The statewide funding approved includes:

Today’s announcement of $399,986 in funding expected to impact Erie County, continues Bizzarro’s efforts to allocate state money to properly fund workforce development, schools, nonprofits, first responders and local businesses in his district and Erie County. So far this year, Bizzarro has helped secure more than $13.6 million in funding for Erie County projects.