PHILADELPHIA, PA — On Thursday, Governor Tom Wolf toured Philly Shipyard, Inc. and its Training Academy to highlight a $1.1 million state investment, awarded to the Delaware County Community College, to train 315 individuals through a free welding and shipbuilding training program to meet workforce needs of Philly Shipyard for building National Security Multi-mission Vessels (NSMV).
“Pennsylvania has long been a manufacturing powerhouse. Our resources have helped to build and secure this nation,” said Gov. Wolf. “I’ve been committed to ensuring that this industry is strong, skilled, and growing since the day I took office and I have no plans to stop. These investments, like we see in action at Philly Shipyard… are a down payment on our successful future.”
In Pennsylvania, manufacturing is big business. It employs nearly 10% of Pennsylvania’s workforce and accounts for 11.42% of economic output. Since Gov. Wolf took office in 2015 and immediately prioritized his support for an even stronger industry, the economic output of manufacturing in Pennsylvania rose from $85 billion in 2016 to more than $92 billion in 2021.
Gov. Wolf launched the Training-to-Career program in 2017, along with his Manufacturing PA Initiative, and has since funded 62 projects with more than $14.2 million.
The Delaware County Community College was awarded $1.1 million through the Manufacturing Training to Career Program to develop and deliver training programs for 315 trainees to gain necessary welding and shipbuilding skills for careers at Philly Shipyard. The average starting salary for these positions is $60,000 annually.
“The state funding from the Manufacturing Training-to-Career program has enabled us to respond to a critical need for skilled welders that will support shipbuilding at Philly Shipyard,” said Delaware County Community College President Dr. L. Joy Gates Black. “Delaware County Community College, as part of the Collegiate Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development, a partnership consisting of the regional community colleges and Drexel University, works in close partnership with employers, like Philly Shipyard, to meet the skilled workforce needs of business and industry in Greater Philadelphia.”
Acknowledging Philly Shipyard’s critical role to national security and supply chain infrastructure, Gov. Wolf has continually invested in their expansion. Philly Shipyard has received $5 million through two separate Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) projects that supported expansion and improved safety and security around the site.
“As we continue to increase our workforce, we have found a number of candidates who wanted to work for the shipyard but just did not have enough experience or certifications to meet the minimum requirements of the positions,” said Mike Giantomaso, Vice President of Human Resources at Philly Shipyard. “We worked with Delaware County Community College to assist us in getting these candidates the necessary training to complete the certifications and begin working at the yard.”
Philly Shipyard RACP awards are just some of the 293 projects funded for nearly $475 million in Philadelphia County during the Wolf Administration.