Longietti: Nearly $325,000 in grants will expand regional job opportunities, promote industry growth

HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – Nearly $325,000 in state grants will expand job-training opportunities for students and job seekers in western Pennsylvania, including Mercer County, while helping area industries grow more competitive, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today.

The grants, which are part of the PAsmart initiative, will be used to identify local needs and connect students and other job seekers to regional industries, with a focus on strengthening and expanding apprenticeship programs.

“Apprenticeship programs are excellent ‘earn while you learn’ opportunities for young Pennsylvanians,” Longietti said. “They provide hands-on training plus the guidance and support of a mentor, which helps students gain confidence as they acquire real-world skills. The programs are also great for area employers because they allow businesses to tailor training to their specific needs.”

The funding – which is shared among multiple legislative districts – includes:

  • A $280,555 Ambassador Network grant to Thomas P. Miller and Associates to convene a consortium of partners to identify needs, provide quarterly webinars and technical assistance and promote apprenticeship growth and retention.
  • A $43,252 Next Generation Manufacturing Industry Partnership grant to NWPA Job Connect to create a partnership in the advanced manufacturing industry.

The Ambassador Network grant is administered by the state Department of Labor and Industry, while the Next Generation grant is administered by both L&I and the state Department of Community and Economic Development.