Berks Co. House Democrats congratulate Workforce Board on state grant

HARRISBURG, Feb. 22 – Three state lawmakers in Berks County are congratulating the Berks County Workforce Development board for receiving a Nursing Pathway Apprenticeship Industry Partnership Program award of $176,155 from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

This grant program, as part of the COVID-19 Nursing Workforce Initiative and funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, blends the registered apprenticeship and industry partnership models and is designed to address the many workforce challenges in communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the money, the Berks County Workforce Development Board will partner with the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance and Reading Area Community College to launch a new Greater Reading Healthcare Connections Industry Partnership, with a focus on creating strategies for employers to develop career pathways, establishing industry credentials to education partners, and designing and implementing a Registered Apprentice Home Health Aide to LPN career pathway.

“Sincere congratulations are in order for the Workforce Development Board, whose application to the program reflected the need and vision for more pathways into nursing, for our area,” said House Speaker Mark Rozzi. “Kudos to all of the people who worked to show why the Reading area is a premier place for investing state dollars.”

“With this development, more people will be able to choose a career in the nursing field – at greatly reduced costs – and return the value here in Berks County in the form of skilled service to other members of the population,” said state Rep. Manny Guzman. “This is a win-win for our region, and I thank the administration for recognizing the value that Reading and the surrounding area presents for Pennsylvania.”

“I’m pleased to congratulate the Workforce Development Board for their capturing an outstanding opportunity and delivering to the people of Berks County,” said state Rep. Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz. “These careers and jobs greatly benefit underserved communities, including women and minorities, people with disabilities, veterans, second-language speakers, and people with barriers to other forms of employment. We all win in Berks County.”

The Nursing Workforce Initiative, introduced by state legislation in September 2021, was created to support individuals within the nursing industry as they navigated the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and continues to incentivize individuals to pursue careers in the nursing industry.