Allegheny House Dems announce $500K to build career pathways

L&I grants fund pre-apprenticeships, workforce diversity programs

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 16 – Two state grants totaling $500,000 will help create job opportunities throughout the region, members of the Allegheny County Democratic Delegation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives announced today.

“Creating family-sustaining jobs here in southwestern PA is one of the biggest issues our delegation tackles through our work in Harrisburg,” said delegation chair state Rep. Nick Pisciottano. “We will continue to prioritize the well-being of working families and individuals by fighting to bring state grants like these back to Allegheny County.”

One award of $250,000 to Partner4Work will fund the organization’s Construction Industry Partnership program, which focuses on union diversity and inclusion efforts, pre-apprenticeship training and support, and pipeline building for the next generation of workers.

Some of their activities to meet these needs will include, working with the Chicago Women in the Trades to develop outreach strategies to improve the diversity of the workforce pipeline, developing a recruitment strategy to scale their Pit2Work model (including their pre-apprenticeship construction program), and exploring the implementation of the National Association of Women in Construction’s summer camp.

“Preparing a future workforce that brings a wide range of perspectives, skills and strengths is key to the continued economic prosperity of PA,” delegation city vice chair state Rep. Aerion A. Abney said. “These dollars go a long way towards doing those things, as well as setting laborers up for success.”

The second grant of $250,000 was awarded to the Three Rivers Area Labor Management Committee to support the PA Steel Alliance Industry Partnership, which will work to address challenges, including upskilling workers in electrical and mechanical maintenance, advanced skill training, and exploring the development of new training opportunities through immersive technologies like augmented reality platforms.

The partnership will focus on identifying workforce and training needs, coordinating a team to support high-tech industry needs, identifying additional community resources, increasing collaboration in the industry, ensuring the successful completion of training, and surveying partnership effectiveness.

“An effective workforce is one that’s thoroughly trained and one that embraces neighbors from all backgrounds,” said state Rep. Lindsay Powell. “Funding to strengthen these components helps to create a strong local economy that works for all of us.”

Both grants were awarded through the state Department of Labor & Industry’s Industry Partnership program, which encourages partnerships among businesses in various sectors to address education and training, economic development needs, coordination of regional support teams, identifying community resources, and providing further opportunities for collaboration.

In addition to Abney, Powell, and Pisciottano, the Allegheny County Delegation comprises state Reps. Jessica Benham, Dan Deasy, Dan Frankel, Matthew Gergely, Emily Kinkead, Anita Kulik, Brandon Markosek, La’Tasha D. Mayes, Joe McAndrew, Dan Miller, Abigail Salisbury, Mandy Steele and Arvind Venkat.