Harkins, Merski: Penn State Behrend awarded $200,000 to develop tech training center for regional manufacturers

‘Industry 4.0 Center of Excellence’ will help companies remain competitive

ERIE, Feb. 10 – A $200,000 grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development will allow Penn State Behrend to develop a “4.0 Center of Excellence” for regional manufacturers, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced today.

The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding from the state’s Manufacturing Training-to-Career program will help ensure that area industry maintains a well-trained workforce.

“With this funding, Penn State Behrend will be able to offer training in the latest tech-based tools that manufacturers need to compete in the modern digital world,” Harkins said. “By helping manufacturers ensure that worker skills keep pace with technological advancements – from robotics to digital systems to data analysis – the center will help regional industries reach more customers, speed production and improve efficiency.

“I attended Penn State Behrend, and I am extremely excited to see the ways my alma mater will be helping our region remain competitive.”

Merski said, “The new Industry 4.0 Center of Excellence is going to help bring manufacturing in our region further into 21st century. Access to cutting-edge technology is one of the keys to competitiveness in the business world, but the technology is only effective if workers are trained to use it. By offering expanded workforce training on state-of-the-art systems, the new center is going to help ensure that industry in our corner of the state not only keeps pace, but is able to build a stronger national and global reach.

“State Representative Curt Sonney’s efforts played a large part in helping secure this funding, and we are gratified to have had the opportunity to work with him.”

The Manufacturing Training-to-Career program helps companies identify and train a skilled workforce through targeted programs and services. 

More about the funding is available here.