Chester County Economic Development Foundation Receives $250,000 Grant for Workforce Development

Grant money

WEST CHESTER, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry recently announced a significant boost to the local economy with a $250,000 grant awarded to the Chester County Economic Development Foundation (CCEDF). This funding is part of a broader $4.2 million Industry Partnership grants program aimed at preparing Pennsylvania workers for family-sustaining jobs in the Commonwealth’s most dynamic industries.

This investment will provide crucial support to the AgConnect Industry Partnership, a significant project operating under the umbrella of the CCEDF. The initiative is dedicated to addressing four key priority areas: technical assistance, cultivating the youth pipeline, fostering collaborative workplace solutions, and offering comprehensive hiring/human resource support services.

The AgConnect partnership, with its focus on agriculture—a vital sector of Chester County’s economy—aims to bridge the gap between local talent and industry demands. Among the proposed activities are researching software to make locally produced goods more accessible, developing a standardized hiring toolkit in English and Spanish, and conducting engagement meetings with workforce development boards and PA CareerLink® staff to highlight the variety of careers in agriculture.

This strategic focus on agriculture is not solely centered on job creation; it encompasses the essential aspect of fostering and expanding an industry that not only contributes significantly to Chester County’s economy but also shapes its unique identity and cultural heritage.

Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Nancy A. Walker said, “The Industry Partnership model works because the investments are targeted to communities where there’s already a synergy of local leaders determined to work together on ideas that will strengthen families and businesses – while also protecting the futures of both.”

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The Industry Partnership program encourages collaboration among businesses across various sectors, including agriculture, information technology, robotics, healthcare, transportation, and reshoring manufacturing operations. By aligning the state’s efforts with current and future industry needs, the Shapiro Administration aims to attract more young people, businesses, and prosperity to Pennsylvania.

For Chester County, this grant presents a significant opportunity that holds immense promise for the community. It not only provides a platform to nurture a highly skilled workforce poised to cater to the demands of the county’s vital industries but also serves as a testament to the dedication toward investing in the county’s economic future. This commitment underscores the resolve to secure Chester County as a vibrant, thriving hub for residents and businesses alike.

The grant to the CCEDF is an investment in Chester County’s future—one that recognizes the vital role of local industry in the county’s economic health and aims to ensure that this industry continues to thrive for years to come. By focusing on job training and skills development, the grant can help Chester County residents find stable, well-paying jobs, strengthening the county’s economy and ensuring a bright future for all its residents.

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