U.S. Congressman Jason Altmire (PA-04) today announced that two western Pennsylvania workforce partnerships will receive grants from the U.S. Department of Labor's Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF). The West Central Job Partnership in New Castle received a grant from the WIF program for $6 million while the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (WIB), located in Pittsburgh, received a grant from the same program for $3 million. The funds will be used to develop and expand innovative strategies to help more people in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio get good jobs.
The West Central Job Partnership will use the grant to develop the Oh-Penn Interstate Region Pathways to Competitiveness, which aims to train and place workers in the region's growing natural gas and advanced manufacturing industries. The goal of the Three Rivers WIB project is to design and build a new, multi-firm manufacturing, apprenticeship, training, and employment system that grows production capabilities for new products in America.
"Ensuring an ongoing match between the skills our region's employer's demand and those our workers have is vital to the continued economic growth of western Pennsylvania," Congressman Altmire said. "These grants will provide the necessary funding to help important organizations like the West Central Job Partnership and the Three Rivers WIB continue to do what they do best; enable people to find good jobs here."
"We are thrilled and excited to be the recipient of a Workforce Innovation Fund grant," Sam Giannetti, Executive Director for Workforce Development at the West Central Job Partnership said. "This collaborative effort throughout the Ohio-Pennsylvania corridor including Columbiana, Mahoning, Trumbull, Lawrence, and Mercer Counties will help develop the specific skill sets for the expanding opportunities in manufacturing and Marcellus Shale throughout our region."
"This project, Making it in America, will produce an efficient system that connects workers, employers and other participants with dynamic new manufacturing sectors, economic development agencies and workforce training, to better balance the regional workforce supply and demand," said Kelleigh Boland, Director, Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board. "Not only does this present tremendous opportunity for employers and job seekers in the Pittsburgh region, this system can be replicated across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."
Twenty-six grants, totaling $147 million, were awarded today to state workforce agencies and local workforce investment boards through the WIF. Up to $20 million is available through a second round of WIF funding, entitled "Pay for Success." Applications for the Pay for Success program are due December 11, 2012.