During a Aug. 30 visit to the Allentown campus of the Eastern Atlantic States Carpenters Technical College, Gov. Josh Shapiro and Secretary of Labor & Industry Nancy Walker highlighted the administration’s major investments in workforce development, including historic state spending in job training and the Commonwealth Workforce Transformation Program (CWTP).
Since taking office, Shapiro has been focused on creating opportunities for Pennsylvanians through college and the workforce. The 2023-24 budget invests $23.5 million in workforce training and vo-tech programs to prepare more students for skilled careers in the building, construction and infrastructure industries, and $6 million in pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programming so Pennsylvanians can earn-while-they-learn and secure a job that leads to family-sustaining wages.
“My administration is getting serious about training the next generation of workers because my vision for Pennsylvania is one where everyone has the freedom to chart their own course and the opportunity to succeed,” Shapiro said. “If Pennsylvanians want to go straight into the workforce, we should make sure they have the skills and opportunities to be successful and provide for their families. That’s why I fought for and secured historic investments in our bipartisan budget and my administration is prioritizing workforce training – we’re leveraging federal dollars to train 10,000 Pennsylvania workers and ensure the next generation of workers has the skills and expertise to power our economy into the future.”
An additional $3.5 million investment in the budget funds the Department of Labor & Industry’s (L&I) Schools-to-Work Program to develop and expand career pathways for high school students via partnerships between schools, employers, organizations and the commonwealth.
“Our ultimate goal for the next few years is to build a well-trained workforce that is responsive to the needs of business and prepared for the jobs of the future. To do that, we have to see the challenges and confront them deliberately by investing in the workers of Pennsylvania,” Walker said. “Under Gov. Shapiro’s leadership, we secured a $3.5 million investment in this year’s budget for the Schools-to-Work Program, which creates a robust system of employment and training pathways for high school students as they make decisions about entering the workforce. As job requirements continue to evolve, it is our duty to ensure Pennsylvania workers are well-equipped with the skills needed to be successful in the modern labor market.”
In addition to the budget investments in workforce development, Shapiro established the CWTP – a new, first-in-the-nation job training program that will invest as much as $400 million in on-the-job training and create 10,000 new jobs in Pennsylvania. The CWTP will create new opportunities for Pennsylvania workers and help expand the commonwealth’s workforce by providing workforce development grants to ensure companies, contractors, unions and others who are working to build Pennsylvania’s infrastructure have the skilled workforce they need.
“The commitment (Shapiro is) showing toward union apprenticeships and through the first-in-the-nation Commonwealth Workforce Transformation Program means a lot to me personally,” said Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters apprentice Adam Arditi. “With the historic investment offered through the Biden administration’s bipartisan infrastructure bill, and the leadership of Gov. Josh Shapiro in helping to expand training for carpenters like me and future apprentices of our union, there will be opportunities for Pennsylvania workers to not just earn great wages – but create a career right here in the commonwealth.”