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Northeast PA Food Processing Industry Partnership provides support

Founded to strengthen and support the food processing industry throughout Greater Hazleton and the surrounding region, the Northeast PA Food Processing Industry Partnership provides companies with financial assistance for specific training programs, as well as help with employee recruitment.

Funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry through the Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board, industry partnership member companies can obtain training grants that reimburse them 50 percent of the cost. Funding is currently available for advanced technical and mechanical training programs.

Food processing has been identified as a targeted industry cluster for the Northeast region, which allows the L/S WIB to secure grants for the program.

“This special status was awarded by the state because more than 2,500 people are employed by the food processing cluster in fields such as meat processing, confectionery manufacturing, frozen specialty food manufacturing, commercial bakeries and breweries,” said Patricia Lenahan, L/S WIB executive director.

The food processing industry partnership brings together multiple employers in the same industry group or cluster to identify and address common workforce needs. Currently, 11 food processing companies in Luzerne and Schuylkill counties participate in the industry partnership.

Once a common issue is identified, the L/S WIB has the power to focus funding to assist with fixing the issue.

This important workforce communication pipeline is just one of the benefits of being a food processing company in Greater Hazleton.

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