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Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board assists companies with cost-effective training via $100,000 grant

Food processing companies located in Greater Hazleton and throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania enjoy many benefits by operating their businesses in a region that places a prime focus on the food processing industry. These benefits include access to a Logistics and Transportation Industry Partnership and a Food Industry Partnership organized by the Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board (L/S WIB) utilizing available grant money that assists with the cost of employee training programs.

The L/S WIB recently received another $100,000 Logistics and Transportation Industry Partnership grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). Any company that is a member of the Logistics and Transportation Industry Partnership can utilize this grant money, which can pay for 65% of employee training costs. Additionally, industry partnership members can combine to form a consortium of employees from multiple companies for a training session to further reduce the costs of employee training.

In addition to the Logistics and Transportation Partnership grant, the L/S WIB has previously received funding for grants for the Food Processing Industry Partnership. The DCED offers many other grants to help with training costs. Arzyta, Bemis and Tech Packaging are among the food processing industry companies in Greater Hazleton who have taken advantage of these industry training grants to develop a highly skilled workforce.

An executive from Tech Packaging said, “Grants like the Food Industry Partnership grant have been a vital asset to the growth of our operations here in Greater Hazleton. This partnership shows that state and regional organizations like the Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board and the Department of Community and Economic Development are invested in workforce development in Northeast Pennsylvania. The ability to develop efficient and cost-effective training programs through this partnership has had a tremendous impact on our company.”

In addition to the grant funds, the Food Industry Partnership and the Logistics and Transportation Partnership provide a way for employers throughout Northeast PA to come together and discuss the latest innovations in the industry. Company executives gather to discuss their similar needs in the industry, including supply chain optimization and human resources, and work together on ideas to make investments that will develop capital that leads to greater productivity, enlightened human resource practices and innovation and helps the industries to survive and grow. These initiatives are also shared with regional educational partners to develop the curriculum for new courses at area colleges, high schools and technical institutes that will benefit the food processing industry in Northeast PA.

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