Harrisburg, PA (STL.News) Governor Tom Wolf announced that more than $6.5 million in training assistance funding was provided to 715 Pennsylvania companies in Fiscal Year 2019-20 by WEDnetPA, an alliance of educational providers serving the commonwealth’s business community. This year marks 21 years of funding assistance for qualified businesses in the commonwealth to provide training to existing staff members.
“During these unprecedented times, it is crucial that companies across the commonwealth can continue to receive training assistance—whether they are reopening or already have, and especially for our essential businesses that never shut down,” said Gov. Wolf. “Employee training is pivotal in strengthening our state’s workforce, and ultimately, our economy.”
In fiscal year 2019-2020, $6,500,964 was invested in trainings and provided 24,359 employees with access to education in Essential Skills and Advanced Technology. Essential Skills training can include guidance in communication and teamwork, health and safety, business and computer operations, manufacturing fundamentals, quality assurance and more. Advanced Technology training can include guidance in advanced manufacturing technology, advanced software implementation, computer programming, software engineering and more.
“One of the biggest components of strengthening Pennsylvania’s workforce is ensuring that companies can continually train and upskill their current employees,” said Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin. “WEDnet training helps individuals secure and further their careers and is committed to continuing to serve Pennsylvania’s business community during this pandemic.”
Since its beginning in 1999, WEDnetPA has grown to become the primary delivery system for Pennsylvania’s incumbent workforce training. Each year, WEDnetPA partners continue to reach out to significant numbers of companies and employees—strengthening our workforce and businesses and, in turn, strengthening Pennsylvania’s economy.
“WEDnetPA is a lifeline to Pennsylvania companies as they try to navigate the impacts of the pandemic. With so much uncertainty, financial challenge, and need to reskill the workforce, WEDnetPA has been able to help companies, in a very positive way, survive the storm and prepare for the full recovery that will eventually follow,” said WEDnetPA State Director Thomas Venditti. “Now, more than ever, employee training is a necessary strategy for survival and companies in Pennsylvania are fortunate the commonwealth has made this a priority investment, but the circumstances of the day have added a layer of complexity unlike anything we’ve seen in the past. Fortunately, WEDnetPA is employer driven and provides for an array of training methods, including online, distance learning and in-house training, which accounted for more than 20 percent of all training completed last year.”
Workforce training grants align with Governor Wolf’s $30 million PAsmart workforce development initiative, an innovative way to improve coordination between state agencies, cut red tape, and invest in people and business to create and expand innovative job training so workers get the skills that businesses need to compete in the global economy.