HARRISBURG, Pa., March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today announced the launch of JOBS1st PA Regional Partnership grants to increase employer engagement and develop employer-driven training programs between workforce development and economic development organizations across Pennsylvania. These grants help advance Gov. Corbett's Talented Workers initiative that was first launched as part of the governor's 2014-15 proposed budget.
"Developing a well-educated and trained workforce is critical to growing Pennsylvania's economy," said Corbett. "We are building opportunities for local partners to be creative and coordinate workforce recruitment, training programs, and local employer needs at a regional level."
JOBS1st PA Regional Partnership grants will be awarded through the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry with the support of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Labor & Industry will make up to $4 million in funding available from the Department's Re-Employment Fund. Funding will be distributed through a competitive process, with grant amounts anticipated to range from $25,000 to $500,000.
Applicants must be consortiums of Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIBs) and Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance (PREP) core partners. Grant applications must meet the requirements set forth in the Notice of Grant Availability. Applications are due by April 8, 2014 and it is anticipated that the grant applications will be reviewed and grants awarded by May 5, 2014.
"I strongly believe it is Pennsylvanians – their creativity, ingenuity, talents and skills – who drive companies to make Pennsylvania home," said Corbett. "Strengthening regional partnerships and targeting our workforce development efforts will ensure Pennsylvania continues to outpace our competitors."
Statewide workforce development services are delivered at the local level through 22 LWIBs that manage 23 Local Workforce Investment Areas within the commonwealth. The local boards have a majority representation from the local employer community. Each Local Workforce Investment Area has at least one comprehensive PA CareerLink® center where workforce development services are delivered to both job seekers and employers. Funding from the U.S. Department of Labor supports the workforce development system within the commonwealth.
The state's team of PREP partners are partners dedicated to work collectively to deliver economic development services.
There are 10 PREP regions across the state. Funding from the commonwealth supports the PREP regions. The PREP partners collectively decide how to distribute the funds within the region.
In 2012, Gov. Corbett launched JOBS1st PA as a comprehensive roadmap to economic recovery that harnessed the state's resources and talents to prioritize private-sector job creation and retention. Today, Pennsylvania's unemployment rate stands at a five-year low and jobs have been growing on a consistent basis for nearly four years.
Building on JOBS1st PA's successes, Gov. Corbett's 2014-15 budget proposal focuses on two core areas: Make It in PA to ensure the continued resurgence of Pennsylvania's manufacturing, life sciences and technology sectors, and Talented Workers to renew and strengthen our investment in job training opportunities for all Pennsylvanians with more being invested in Pennsylvanians through workforce training.
For more information about Gov. Corbett's commitment to JOBS1st PA visit www.pa.gov.
Valerie Caras, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116
Sara Goulet, Labor & Industry; 717-787-7530
Steve Kratz, DCED; 717-783-1132
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor