Pennsylvania News: Governor Wolf Announces New Funding to Expand Machining, Welding Training Program
HARRISBURG, PA – Today, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf announced the approval of new funding to the Precision Manufacturing Institute (PMI) in Crawford County to enhance its manufacturing training programs by adding more advanced training and placing an additional focus on employability skills that prospective workers need to get a job in manufacturing.
“The purpose of the new Manufacturing PA initiative is to listen to our partners and employers in the manufacturing sector to identify their greatest areas of need, and then provide support that will address that need,” Governor Wolf said. “This funding to the Precision Manufacturing Institute is a great example of how the private and public sectors can come together to strengthen the manufacturing workforce in Northwest Pennsylvania and help put workers on a path to success.”
The grant will provide $150,000 to the Precision Manufacturing Institute to enhance and expand current curricula for CNC machinists, electro-mechanical technology, and electric ARC welding. The funding will enable PMI to provide more advanced training for 4th- and 5th-axis CNC programming and operation, as well as automated conveyer system training in the electro-mechanical technology program. The expanded curricula will also specifically address crucial employability skills like interpersonal communication, teamwork, professionalism, and resource management that regional manufacturers have identified as a need in applicants and recent hires. The program will draw applicants from Crawford, Erie, Warren, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Clarion counties. It is expected to provide 60 trainees with the technical and professional skills they need to enter the workforce.
“Our participation in the PA Manufacturing Training-to-Career grant program will enable PMI to provide the local economy with additional skill training identified by our Program Advisory Committees and local employers,” said Ed Petrunak, director of PMI. “The Department of Community and Economic Development was helpful and easy to work with throughout the entire application process and we appreciate their support.”
The Pennsylvania Manufacturing Training-to-Career grant is designed to provide funding for training programs to help unemployed and underemployed individuals, as well as those with barriers, to gain the skills they need to gain employment in the manufacturing sector. Eligible applicants include technical and trade schools, universities, and nonprofit organizations that develop new and innovative training programs and partner with two or more manufacturers. Governor Wolf recently announced other Training-to-Career grants to the Manufacturers Research Center, the Greater Johnstown Career & Technical Center and Robert Morris University.
The Training-to-Career grant is one of three components of Governor Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative, along with Industrial Resource Centers and the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Innovation Program, that was launched in October 2017. This initiative ensures that training leads not simply to any job, but to careers that provide higher pay and opportunities for advancement. Working with DCED’s strategic partners, including Industrial Resource Centers (IRCs), Pennsylvania’s colleges, universities, technical schools, and non-profit organizations, this initiative fosters collaboration and partnerships to accelerate technology advancement, encourage innovation and commercialization, and build a 21st century workforce.