HARRISBURG, PA − November 2, 2018 − Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) encouraged innovators to apply for grants aimed at spurring K-12 computer science and STEM education, expanding registered apprenticeships, and supporting job training with Industry Partnership programs, following Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement of $30 million in grants Friday.

“The governor’s administration has made a strong investment in our children and our workers, so it is our responsibility to make good on that investment and help prepare our students for the future,” Sen. Hughes said. “These grants will help children acquire the necessary computer skills, as well as providing opportunities to help train and support workforces across the commonwealth. I am hopeful we will see many qualified applications from schools, businesses, economic developers and the like, especially in the 7th Senatorial District.”

PA SmartPAsmart is built on recommendations of Governor Wolf’s Middle Class Task Force, comprised of business, labor, education, and workforce development leaders. The task force concluded there are jobs without trained people to fill them and some workers need new skills, but a four-year degree is not for everyone and a one-size fits-all approach will not work.

“With PAsmart, Pennsylvania will have the most prepared and talented workforce in the country, which will help businesses succeed, grow the middle class, and strengthen the economy for everyone,” said Gov. Wolf. “We are partnering with private industry and schools to strategically invest in science and technology education, expand apprenticeships and increase on-the-job training for good careers.”

Below is more information on the grants, links to apply and information about organizations that are eligible for funding under the three programs:

Computer Science and STEM education grants: $20 million 
Over the next decade, seven in 10 new jobs in Pennsylvania will require workers to use a computer and an estimated 300,000 STEM jobs will be available in the commonwealth this year. Already among the nation’s best in STEM education, PAsmart provides competitive grants to bring high-quality STEM and CS education to classrooms in elementary, middle, and high schools, and professional development for teachers. With this commitment, Pennsylvania now ranks second in the country for investments in K-12 STEM and computer science.

PAsmart provides $20 million to increase access to STEM and computer science education for Pennsylvania students, with an emphasis on girls, minorities, and other underserved students.

PAsmart computer science and STEM grant resources:

Applications for target grants are due by December 14, 2018 and advancing grants are due December 28, 2018. Any local education agency (school district, career and technology center, charter school, intermediate unit) in Pennsylvania is eligible to apply for a Targeted Grant.

Registered Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeships grants: $7 million
Registered apprenticeships provide hands-on experience for students and workers to gain skills for employment or advance their careers while earning a paycheck from their employer. The Department of Labor & Industry launched the Apprenticeship and Training Office in 2016 to support and expand registered apprenticeship programs. Since then, the number of registered apprentices has increased by 26 percent to 16,832.

PAsmart invests $7 million to develop and expand registered apprenticeships and support industry’s need for more skilled workers.

PAsmart apprenticeship grant resources:

Applications for all Apprenticeship Grants are due by December 21, 2018.

Eligible applicants include entities that serve as sponsors or intermediaries such as: local education agencies, business, labor organizations, post-secondary institutions, community-based organizations, industry associations, economic development entities, public libraries, STEM ecosystems, local workforce development boards.

Industry Partnerships grants: $3 million 
Pennsylvania’s Industry Partnerships program brings together workers and multiple employers in the same industry along with local economic development, education, workforce development, and community organizations to provide worker training. These highly successful public-private partnerships cluster similar employers to enhance the regional workforce and economy.

PAsmart provides a $3 million increase for Industry Partnership grants, for a total investment of $4.6 million.

PAsmart Industry Partnership grant resources:

Applications for Industry Partnership grants are due by December 14, 2018.

Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDB) will serve as fiscal agent for all grant awards. Eligible applicants include LWDBs, labor organizations, economic development organizations, industry associations, local education agencies, education intermediaries, post-secondary education providers, community-based organizations, libraries, and nonprofits.