Dawkins applauds $3.5 million in grants to enhance apprenticeships

Funding, apprentice prep sessions helping to put people to work

PHILADELPHIA, April 4 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., lauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s allocation of $3.5 million for 61 grants to support pre-apprentice and apprenticeship programs throughout Philadelphia and across the commonwealth.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry awarded the grants through Local Workforce Development boards across the state, including Philadelphia Works. The funding is designed to support businesses, industry associations, chambers of commerce, training providers, career and technical centers, and intermediaries interested in sponsoring registered apprenticeship programs.

Dawkins said these grants will help open doors for people who are looking to obtain good-paying jobs. 

“Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative is helping Pennsylvanians develop the skills they need to stay competitive in today’s work force. Apprentice programs are the first step towards a life-long career with jobs that offer competitive pay, comprehensive health and vacation benefits, and comfortable retirement. We need more of these types of jobs now,” Dawkins said.

Recently, Dawkins hosted a series of workshops in his district office designed to educate people on apprenticeship opportunities in Philadelphia.

“I worked with our local labor and construction trade unions through my ‘Apprentice Prep with the Rep.’ workshop series to spread the word about these great prospects. These apprenticeship programs are open to all who can show up, complete the requirements and put in the work and effort,” Dawkins said. “By continuing to fund these programs, we have no excuses not to be putting our community back to work.”

Apprenticeship programs in the state are approved through the Apprenticeship and Training Office, which the Wolf administration established in 2016. It is a means to support and expand apprenticeship opportunities into non-traditional industries and occupations statewide, increase the overall number of apprentices and educate the public about the merits of apprenticeship.