Secretary of Labor and Industry Highlights Apprenticeship Program Preparing Pennsylvanians for Careers in Early Childhood Education

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Secretary of the Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) Jennifer Berrier today visited a Philadelphia day care center where early childhood education apprentices are gaining work experience through a program offered by District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund and Arcadia University, one of 26 recent grant recipients totaling more than $11 million recently announced through Governor Tom Wolf’s PA Statewide Movement for Accountability, Readiness and Training (PAsmart) program for the workforce development across the Commonwealth.

“Apprenticeships continue to be an integral part of workforce development across the Commonwealth,” Secretary Berrier said. “In addition to strengthening our workforce, the District 1199C Training and Development Fund and Arcadia University have invested in our youngest learners by providing quality instructors through their apprenticeship program. The Department of Labor and Industry is proud of their work and supports them in current and future endeavours.”

To address the shortage of qualified early childhood teachers across the Commonwealth, Arcadia University expanded its PreK-4 undergraduate registered learning program in 2019. This program provides access to preparation and certification of PreK‐4 teachers at baccalaureate for a diverse early childhood workforce, fostering opportunities for academic growth and financial stability. Upon completion of the program, students earn a bachelor’s degree in PreK-4 and qualify for PreK-4 certification issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

A team from Arcadia University, led by Dr. Foram A. Bhukhanwala, Associate Professor of Education, will use recently announced PAsmart funding of $632,258 to train 12 apprentices and implement new initiatives to recruit and enroll apprentices linguistically, ethnically and culturally representative. workforce – especially women of color and people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

The District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund is a Philadelphia-based workforce development partnership focused on the health and human services sectors and affiliated with the National Union of Hospital and Healthcare Employees. For four decades, the Training Fund has helped more than 100,000 Delaware Valley residents of all ages and incomes with career paths in health care, early childhood education, and social services.

“As a sponsor of Arcadia’s learning efforts, the District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund supports the work of the university and congratulates it on the recent grant,” said Teresa Collins, executive director of the District Training and Upgrading Fund 1199C.

Established in 2016, L&I’s Office of Apprenticeship and Training (ATO) supports and expands registered apprenticeship programs statewide. As part of Governor Wolf’s PAsmart framework, the office provides assistance, education, and technical support to current and potential apprenticeship program sponsors and apprentices. The ATO aims to extend the apprenticeship model to non-traditional occupations and ensure apprenticeship opportunities are available for underrepresented communities across the Commonwealth. The ATO currently supports over 17,000 active apprentices, nearly 5,000 new apprentices and over 1,500 occupation-specific active apprenticeship schemes across the Commonwealth.

The Wolf administration has directly invested $28 million in apprenticeship programs in Pennsylvania since 2018, focused on increasing college education in computer science, science, technology, engineering, and math to strengthen Pennsylvania’s workforce. Pennsylvania. Latest round of grants supports apprenticeship programs with a focus on diverse talent pools and underserved populations, non-traditional occupations, and alignment with secondary and post-secondary institutions for careers in agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, IT, education, human resources. services, building trades, etc. Governor Wolf’s 2022-23 budget proposal includes an additional $7 million investment for apprenticeships.

L&I estimates that, on average, apprentices earn a starting salary of $70,000 per year after graduation and are on track to earn $300,000 more than other workers over their career. Almost nine out of 10 apprentices are employed after completing their apprenticeship. For every dollar spent on learning, employers recoup an average of $1.47 in increased productivity.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Alex Peterson, [email protected]

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Ryan H. Bowman