Business-Education Partnership grant aims to connect businesses with students, expand access to job training

Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier announced Tuesday the department’s plan to distribute more than $3 million in Business-Education Partnership Grant funding to 22 workforce development organizations statewide that work to connect Pennsylvania businesses with school districts and students to better prepare youth to enter into an ever-changing workforce.

“The pandemic changed every aspect of our lives, including how we educate our students and prepare them to join Pennsylvania’s workforce,” Secretary Berrier said.

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“These BEP grants play a vital role in helping students gain the skills to eventually meet the needs of employers across the commonwealth. We are so proud to be awarding nearly $3.1 million to local workforce development boards across Pennsylvania. They will use this money to continue operating their programs that increase awareness of in-demand technical careers for students, parents, guardians, and school faculty.”

In Berks County, the Workforce Development Board received $141,164 for a program which will bring employers into the classroom to directly provide students with career education and necessary skill attainment.

It also brings the student to the employer to gain first-hand knowledge of high-priority careers as part of career prep guidance plans and supports parents in understanding career options.

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“One of Governor Wolf’s key workforce development objectives is providing students with the proper training to secure good-paying jobs once they leave the classroom,” said Secretary Berrier.

“In the previous round of BEP grants, the commonwealth helped to fund activities that served more than 35,000 people across Pennsylvania. We are simply letting students know what opportunities exist and offering solid first-work experience that puts them on the path of a successful career.”

The partnerships offer career-related experiences and opportunities for students through soft-skills development, internships, workplace shadowing, and career mentoring, all with the goal of informing more young learners about high-priority occupations and career paths available in the commonwealth.

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