Longietti, Sainato: $150,000 grant to educate students about high-priority career paths

HERMITAGE, Jan. 16 – A $150,000 grant from the state Department of Labor and Industry will help students and educators in Mercer and Lawrence County learn about high-priority career paths, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, and state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today.

The lawmakers said the Business-Education Partnership grant will allow the West Central Workforce Development Board  to raise awareness about high-demand jobs by establishing connections between school districts and area businesses.

“This funding is going to help educators and students become familiar with high-priority, good-paying jobs in our area and the kinds of requirements demanded by those jobs,” Longietti said. “Providing a pipeline connecting the classroom to the workplace allows students and educators to develop an understanding of what kinds of skills are needed in today’s work force so teachers can tailor the curriculum accordingly and students can decide which career paths best suit their skills and talents.”

Sainato agreed, noting, “School-business partnerships are incredibly productive because they provide students with hands-on learning opportunities such as internships and job shadowing, which help them make informed career choices. At the same time, area employers benefit from being able to provide input into the learning process and from getting the chance to attract qualified applicants. It’s truly a win-win for everyone.”

The grant is part of a $2.4 million package of Business-Education Partnership grants to 19 workforce development boards throughout the state. The grants are 100% funded through federal money made available from the Innovation and Opportunities Act.

More information about the grants is available through the Department of Labor and Industry’s website at www.dli.pa.gov.