Petrarca: $4.6 million available in PAsmart grants to connect employers with workers, spur new job training opportunities

HARRISBURG, Dec. 3 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca is encouraging local workforce development boards, industry and education organizations and others to apply for state grants focused on creating opportunities for workers and providing them with the skills and knowledge that businesses need.

Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, said approximately $4.6 million in grants is available through the PAsmart Next Generation Industry Partnership program, which connects multiple employers in the same industry with students, workers and job seekers in a variety of fields, including:

  • Advanced manufacturing.
  • Agriculture and food production.
  • Bio medical and health care.
  • Building and construction.
  • Business services.
  • Education.
  • Energy.
  • Hospitality.
  • Logistics and transportation.
  • Real estate.
  • Finance and insurance.

“For some time, employers have expressed concerns about what they call the ‘skills gap,’ which is the difference in the skills that are required for a particular job and the actual skills potential or current skills employees have,” Petrarca said. “These grants will provide job seekers with the training and skills that employers need and meet the career goals of workers who want to expand their skill set and increase their earning potentials.”

Grants of up to $250,000 per partnership are available. Eligible grant applicants also can include labor and economic development organizations, libraries and post-secondary education providers. Any entity may serve as a fiscal agent for all grant awards. Applicants are required to partner with a local workforce development board on their applications.

The deadline to apply is Jan. 3.

Additional details, including the grant application, can be found at this link.