The Bucks County Department of Workforce and Economic Development (WED), in partnership with MontcoWorks, has been awarded $366,664 from the state Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Apprenticeship Building America & Pennsylvania program.
With funding from the U.S. Department of Labor's Apprenticeship Building America initiative, L&I will support the efforts of nine local workforce development boards, including those in Bucks and Montgomery counties, to increase apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities among underrepresented populations.
Bucks County WED and MontcoWorks will implement a new apprenticeship-focused initiative to serve their workforce development areas in the Greater Philadelphia region. The partners will develop two new registered apprenticeship programs and two registered pre-apprenticeship programs. Additionally, they will expand existing programs in industries such as skilled trades, manufacturing, IT, and education. This joint initiative aims to accelerate the growth of local apprenticeship ecosystems and expand a workforce pipeline of skilled talent to ensure economic health within the region.
"I am proud of the partnership between Bucks County WED and MontcoWorks to expand apprenticeship programs within the Greater Philadelphia area," said Billie Barnes, Executive Director of Bucks County WED." This investment in our workforce will help us offer more career pathways to jobs offering family-sustaining wages. Apprentices earn a paycheck as they learn in-demand skills while also filling labor gaps experienced by local employers."
The Apprenticeship Building America grant program enables states to expand and modernize registered apprenticeships by increasing the number of programs, adding apprentices, promoting diversity across industries, improving opportunities for underrepresented and underserved communities, and increasing accessibility and equity of programming for all apprentices.
Pennsylvania currently has more than 1,600 Registered Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship programs with over 16,000 current and future employees, according to L&I. Apprentices work full-time from day one, earning industry certifications, stackable credentials, and—in many programs—college credits. Employers get an average of $1.47 back in increased productivity for every dollar spent on apprenticeships. Employers site over 90% retention for apprenticeship program graduates.
More information about apprenticeship opportunities for job seekers and employers in Bucks County is available at www.buckscounty.gov. For apprenticeships in Montgomery County, visit www.montcopa.org.
About the Bucks County Department of Workforce & Economic Development
The Bucks County Department of Workforce and Economic Development (WED) works to ensure that the local workforce system, covering numerous agencies and multiple disciplines, meets both employers' needs for skilled workers and workers' career and economic advancement. It oversees and coordinates one-stop services that support employment and training through PA CareerLink® Bucks County. For more information, visit www.buckscounty.gov.
Media Contact: James O'Malley, 215-348-6414, [email protected]