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Manufacturing companies can receive grant money for apprenticeship programs from the Pennsylvania state budget

Statistics from the United States Department of Labor show that apprenticeship programs help businesses develop highly-skilled employees and increase productivity rates. Pennsylvania manufacturing firms, including those in food processing, have an easier path toward starting their own apprenticeship program thanks to a new grant available from the state.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf designated money in his 2017-18 budget for an apprenticeship program designed to help manufacturing companies train apprentices in a way that aligns with the company’s needs and can lead to an established career path once the employee completes the apprenticeship program. The apprenticeship is designed to benefit both recent high school graduates as well as those transitioning into a new industry sector.

Governor Wolf said, “Apprenticeship programs are providing access to great career pathways in manufacturing. What better way to connect people to jobs that pay than an employer creating a training program that meets its needs for a skilled workforce. I see the need for innovative and expanded apprenticeship programs.”

Employers benefit from apprenticeship programs as a result of an increased knowledge transfer through employees participating in on-the-job learning from an experienced mentor, combined with education courses to support work-based learning.

Each company can create an apprenticeship program that is tailored to meet their needs. Some companies have partnered with local community colleges to develop a unique program that gives their employees the skills training and educational expertise they need for success in today’s complex manufacturing industry.

In Northeast Pennsylvania, Greiner Packaging, an international company that manufactures plastic cups for dairy products from its headquarters in Pittston, serves as an example of a success story for this apprenticeship grant program. Greiner partnered with Luzerne County Community College to create the Gold Apprentice Program, which trains technicians for the skills they will need to work at the company. Governor Wolf toured Greiner last month to get an in-person look at the benefits the program is bringing to the company.

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