$4.5 Million Available to Enhance Digital Literacy Skills for Pennsylvania Job Seekers

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HARRISBURG, PA — Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier announced the availability of $4.5 million in Digital Literacy and Workforce Development Grants (DLWDG) to support local programs across Pennsylvania that enhance foundational digital literacy skills for job seekers and help provide increased access to employment opportunities.

“L&I is focused on providing Pennsylvania workers with the necessary skills to navigate the new economy emerging in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic,” said Berrier. “The Digital Literacy and Workforce Development Grants will help ensure that our workers develop the basic digital skills they need to succeed when applying for jobs and performing the essential duties that will be required of them in their new career.”

L&I will provide up to $4.5 million in funding in grants of up to $45,000 each to promote digital competency, which includes the ability to search and apply for online jobs, upload and submit a résumé via email, and the ability to develop and maintain a professional profile on networking sites. As Pennsylvania deals with the increased demand for employees to be able to telework, we must ensure that employees can effectively navigate the technology platforms used in the workplace.

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Eligible applicants include local workforce development boards, non-profit agencies (community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, etc.) or small businesses meeting certain criteria. Grant applications are due February 17, 2021, and the 2021 DLWDG will operate from July 1 to September 30, 2021.

“Even before the pandemic, the job search and application process moved almost entirely online for most businesses,” added Berrier. “Digital literacy skills are necessary in securing and maintaining many jobs that offer family-sustaining wages. This grant will work to increase digital literacy, particularly in communities with limited broadband access and help ensure equitable access to suitable employment opportunities.”

Digital Literacy and Workforce Development Grants are 100 percent federally funded by federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Statewide Activity funding. WIOA Statewide Activity funding can be used to help job seekers and workers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the labor market.

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Additional details and the grant application can be found on L&I’s website. A bidders’ conference is scheduled for January 22, 2021, and the deadline to apply is February 17, 2021.

Additional information is available on the L&I website at www.dli.pa.gov.

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