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Lehigh Valley partnership one of 28 recipients of $4.7M in job training funds

BY: Pamela Sroka-Holzmann, Lehigh Valley Live


A Lehigh Valley partnership is one of 28 statewide industries receiving nearly $4.7 million in grant funding to bolster workforce development.


The Smart Energy Initiative of Southeastern Pennsylvania, a partnership including representatives in Northampton, Lehigh, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, is receiving a $220,000 slice of the total funding. The partnership was founded in 2007 to support the region’s smart energy industry by providing comprehensive workforce and business development services to partnering energy organizations. Its mission promotes the growth of the smart energy industry by providing comprehensive workforce and economic development services to partnering companies, the partnership’s website states.

The near $4.7 million in grant funds comes from the PAsmart Next Generation Industry Partnership, which brings together multiple employers in the same industry to collectively provide targeted job training so that students, workers and job seekers gain skills needed for employment in those industries. Gov. Tom Wolf made the announcement Monday.


Wolf’s administration created PAsmart to help close the skills gap and allow more people to gain the education and training needed to gain better paying jobs, the governor said in a statement.


“Employers need skilled workers now more than ever,” Wolf added. “Strengthening job and skills training continues to be a priority and the 28 grants announced today further enhances that goal.”


Department of Labor & Industry Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier said such programs as the Next Generation Industry Partnership are helping Pennsylvania be at the forefront of the economic changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


“By aligning businesses in the same industry to create training programs, we can provide Pennsylvania workers with the skills they need for today’s job opportunities while helping multiple businesses develop a strong candidate pool,” she said.


The Wolf Administration has invested $88 million through the PAsmart program since 2018. The initiative provided $28 million to expand job training through registered apprenticeships and industry partnerships and $60 million to support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and computer science education in hundreds of schools across Pennsylvania.


The recent $4.7 million in funding comes in addition to another $6.5 million in PAsmart grants awarded in March 2020 to expand apprenticeship job training. Those grants support registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship through ambassador networks, build a diverse talent pipeline while expanding non-traditional registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships, as well as build diversity within the construction and building trades.


Aside from Smart Energy Initiative of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the following PAsmart grant winners and amounts were awarded:

  • Central PA Healthcare Partnership (Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties): $233,800

  • Construction Industry Partnership (Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver and Butler counties): $250,000

  • Financial Services Industry Partnership BankWork$ (Allegheny County): $250,000

  • GR8T Manufacturing: Northwest PA Next Generation Partnership (Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties): $168,946

  • Greater Philadelphia Healthcare Partnership (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties): $45,000

  • Greater Reading Advanced Manufacturing Next Generation Industry Partnership (Berks County): $116,455

  • Healthcare Connect (Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties): $250,000

  • Healthcare Industry Partnership (Allegheny County): $45,000

  • Hospitality and Retail (Allegheny County): $45,000

  • Innovative Technology Action Group (Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties): $250,000

  • Made in Central PA (Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties): $250,000.

  • Manufacturing Alliance of Chester and Delaware Counties (Chester and Delaware counties): $220,000

  • Manufacturing Industry Partnership (Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver and Butler counties): $45,000

  • North Central PA Building and Construction Next Gen Sector Partnership (Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and Potter counties): $214,424

  • North Central PA Healthcare and Social Assistance Next Gen Sector Partnership (Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, and Potter counties): $213,222.

  • North Central PA Manufacturing Next Gen Sector Partnership (Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and Potter counties): $244,444

  • Northern Tier Diversified Manufacturing Next Gen Industry Partnership (Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga and Wyoming counties): $28,000

  • Pennsylvania Steel Alliance (Allegheny, Beaver, Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties): $145,000

  • Southcentral PA Advanced Manufacturing Next Gen Industry Partnership (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lebanon, Perry and York counties): $250,000

  • Southeastern PA Manufacturing Alliance (Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties) $250,000

  • Southwest Corner Building and Construction Industry Partnership (Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Washington and Westmoreland counties): $250,000

  • Transportation and Logistics Industry Partnership (Allegheny, Armstrong and Beaver counties): $250,000

  • Tri-County Healthcare Industry Partnership (Armstrong, Butler and Indiana counties): $150,000

  • Tri-County Manufacturing Industry Partnership (Armstrong, Butler and Indiana counties): $150,000

  • Tri-County Technology Industry Partnership (Armstrong, Butler and Indiana counties): $45,000

  • West Central Healthcare Next Gen Partnership (Lawrence and Mercer counties): $45,000

  • Westmoreland-Fayette Logistics and Transportation Industry Partnership (Fayette and Westmoreland counties): $45,000