HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) announced an additional $1 million round of grant funding available to Pennsylvania registered apprenticeship programs to create more opportunities for success, promote diverse talent, and reach underrepresented populations within the building and construction trades. Applications are due by April 26, 2023.
“Labor and Industry is committed to serving the Commonwealth’s workforce by creating greater opportunities and pathways to success for more Pennsylvanians in our apprenticeship programs,” L&I Acting Secretary Nancy Walker said. “Pennsylvania’s economic future depends on a well-educated and highly-trained workforce. These grants will open the doors of opportunity to more Pennsylvanians and grow our economy – a key priority of Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal.”
Governor Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal aims to boost Pennsylvania’s economy, expand our workforce, and build robust pathways between schools and the workforce. The Governor has proposed a $23.8 million investment in workforce training and apprenticeship programs and strengthening skills-building programs that lead to family-sustaining wages.
As a workforce development strategy, registered apprenticeships have a track record of success in advancing the careers of workers but are lagging behind in serving under-represented populations. For example, according to a recent equity snapshot from the U.S. Department of Labor focused on demographic information, women only represented 13% of the completed Registered Apprenticeships in 2022 and accounted for 15% of new apprentices. Overall, in 2022, women only made-up 10.9% of the construction industry as a whole.
Established in 2016, L&I’s Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO) is responsible for guiding and promoting the expansion and compliance of all registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs across the Commonwealth. The ATO currently supports 868 unduplicated program sponsors and 1,573 occupation-specific registered apprenticeship programs across the Commonwealth, with 16,254 registered apprentices currently active. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that, on average, apprentices earn a starting wage of $77,000 per year after graduation and are on track to earn $300,000 more over their careers compared to workers who do not graduate from an apprenticeship program. For every dollar spent on apprenticeships, employers get an average of $1.47 back in increased productivity.
Applications must be completed and submitted by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26, 2023. More information on the Increasing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Building and Construction Trades through Registered Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeships NGA and related materials are available on L&I’s grants website: www.dli.pa.gov/Grants.
For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, please visit the website or follow L&I on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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