READING, May 14, 2015 – One of Pennsylvania’s champions for education has converted Gov. Tom Wolf’s idea for career and technical instruction into a proposal that is now before a Senate committee for consideration.

Sen. Judy Schwank’s Senate Bill 114 would deliver as much as $15 million for public-private training partnerships focusing on high-demand, high-growth occupations that pay a living wage and promise career growth opportunities.

“Companies throughout Berks County and the commonwealth need people who know what they are doing and have the aptitude to do more,” Sen. Schwank said today after her legislation was referred to the Senate Education Committee. “These public-private training partnerships would be laser focused on delivering skilled workers for in-demand jobs.”

If approved, school districts, career and technology centers, higher education institutions, employers and labor organizations would be eligible for as many as 30 grants of up to $500,000.

Grants would be targeted – but not guaranteed – for each Workforce Investment Area.

“If that happens, students would have the chance to earn college credit and industry credentials through work-based learning,” Schwank said.

Additionally, Senate Bill 114 proposes to provide $5 million in equipment grants for career and technical education.

The legislation also offers $8 million to help school districts fund college and career counseling in middle schools and high schools.

“Pennsylvania works very hard to attract good companies to move, expand or start here but the incentives we dangle aren’t always enough or the promises of job growth delivered,” Schwank said. “But if we make sure Pennsylvania has the best-trained employees, companies will be hard-pressed to look elsewhere, workers will get better jobs with better pay, and local economies will undoubtedly improve.

“Gov. Wolf had the vision to make investments in career and technology training, and I’m pleased to make sure the legislation is in place that will carry this economic development initiative to fruition.”

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