Labor & Industry Secretary Berrier celebrates National Apprenticeship Week with stop in Reading

Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier visited the Reading Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center Tuesday.

National Apprenticeship Week takes places from November 15 to November 19, 2021, highlights the importance of registered pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs across the commonwealth, and the critical role the various programs play in producing a skilled pipeline of workers.

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“Pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships both provide an invaluable service to our local and statewide workforces, pairing classroom instruction with on-the-job skills training and the chance to earn while you learn,” said Secretary of Labor & Industry Jennifer Berrier.

“L&I estimates that nearly nine out of 10 apprentices are employed after they complete their apprenticeship, and the majority take jobs with a starting salary of $60,000 a year or more. Apprenticeships also allow Pennsylvanians to graduate with little to no student debt and the ability to build a rapport directly with an employer before they even graduate.”

L&I began the state wide tour in Collegeville Monday, and will continue on in Pittsburgh and Butler County later this week.

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L&I officials visited Reading Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center to see how the Berks Connections/Pre-Trial Services (BCPS) caters to the very specific needs of those who have been incarcerated. BCPS administers the R3 Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Program, and works to serve reentrants through equity, diversity and inclusion. All R3 participants come from marginalized or at-risk populations with various barriers to success.

Currently, there are 1,585 registered apprenticeships with L&I, and 74 pre-apprenticeships. Those numbers have both grown steadily since the launch of Governor Tom Wolf’s PAsmart initiative in 2018, with an initial investment of $30 million in job training and science and technology education.

As part of the PAsmart initiative, Registered Apprenticeship/Pre-Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship Ambassador Network Grants support schools, students, workers and businesses across the commonwealth, helping Pennsylvanians develop skills for in-demand jobs, and support businesses by creating a skilled workforce to hire.

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