HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Sheila Irelan announced applications are open for $7 million in grants for the “Near Completer” program and encouraged Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) across Pennsylvania to apply for funding to assist Pennsylvanians with partially completed degrees or credentials in gaining the skills or training they need to get good jobs.
“I encourage our LWDB partners to submit their applications and create pilot programs in urban, suburban and rural areas to help put Pennsylvanians who are close to completing their degree or certification firmly on the path to a better career and higher income,” said Ireland. “The Near Completers program is a great example of how Governor Tom Wolf‘s Back to Work PA plan will make smart investments to build brighter futures for Pennsylvania workers and their families.”
The Near Completers pilot programs will aim to support job seekers who have been displaced from employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also connect job seekers with prior but incomplete learning experiences and skills to institutes of high education, community agencies and employers to help them rapid gain the credentials they need to qualify to work in a high-priority occupation.
To qualify for the pilot programs, which are expected to begin operating this Fall, job seekers must also have been making less than $15 per hour before becoming unemployed.
“The Near Completers program doesn’t just help job seekers, it helps all of us,” added Ireland. “Ultimately, the goal of this program is to help create a better life for our workers while also providing businesses with the skilled employees they need to fill their in-demand jobs and thrive in the post-pandemic economy.”
Approximately $7 million in federal funds will be awarded to approved Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) who apply for Near Completers grants. The grant applications are now available.
The deadline to apply is Monday, April 19, 2021 by 4:00 PM (EST). Grant materials, requirements and other related information is available on L&I’s website.
The Wolf Administration states it is calling for funding for the $3 billion Back to Work PA investment to come from a commonsense severance tax on natural gas extraction. Pennsylvania remains the only gas-producing state without a severance tax and trails only Texas in natural gas production. The proposed severance tax would align with other major natural gas-producing states and prop the commonwealth up with the successes of these other states have seen, like infrastructure improvements, improved educational systems, and lower taxes.
For additional information, visit www.dli.pa.gov.
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