02/21/2019: Philadelphia Receives $2.5 Million in PAsmart Grants to Support Next-Gen Industry Partnerships and Expand Apprenticeships

PYN receives $45,950 for health retail pharmacy technician pre-apprenticeship program

PHILADELPHIA – Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry recently announced that Philadelphia workforce stakeholders will receive more than $2.5 million to support innovative approaches in industry partnership programs and registered apprenticeships.

The funding comes from PAsmart, the new workforce development initiative outlined last year by Governor Wolf to help Pennsylvanians enhance the skills they need for family-sustaining jobs. The PAsmart grants will fund numerous programs citywide, including three industry partnerships and 20 apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs.

“Employers have a critical role to play in our workforce development system as we prepare Philadelphians for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “Through industry partnerships, area businesses have the opportunity to directly influence this system. Apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships allow individuals to earn while they learn, while also giving employers the chance to train employees to their specific needs. I am thrilled about this investment that the Commonwealth is making in workforce development, and look forward to seeing the results here in Philadelphia.”

Industry partnerships bring together multiple employers in the same industry, along with workforce development and community partners. These public-private partnerships convene to align workforce planning with the needs of employers in order to create industry-specific talent development and retention solutions.

“Industry partnerships are a central piece of Philadelphia’s citywide workforce strategy,” said Sheila Ireland, executive director of the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Workforce Development. “Sharing similar goals, local industry partnerships will help build a workforce system that is more coordinated, innovative and effective. We are excited for this new investment into the city and grateful for the opportunity to promote career advancement for all Philadelphians.”

Philadelphia Works Inc. will administer the industry partnership grants.

“On behalf of the members of the Southeast PA Manufacturing Alliance, as well as all recipients of Next Gen Industry Partnership grants, we thank Governor Wolf and the Commonwealth for investing in partnerships that work,” said Frank Cettina and Karla Trotman, Co-Chairs of the Southeast Regional Manufacturing Alliance. “These funds will allow us to establish more comprehensive services to help local employers address their talent development needs, as well as increasing our capacity to reach more businesses than ever before.  This funding is further proof in the growing body of evidence to show that investments in Industry Partnerships pay real dividends for job seekers, businesses, and ultimately, the Commonwealth.”

Additionally, several organizations received funding for their apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships are an employer-driven approach to creating a pipeline of diverse and knowledgeable workers. Apprenticeships combine industry specific classroom-based instruction with on-the-job training, providing the worker the opportunity to “earn while they learn” the essential skills of the job. Registered Apprenticeships are formalized programs that connect workers with an employer of record to provide a guaranteed job upon completion of training.

Pre-apprenticeship programs are bridges to registered apprenticeship programs designed to prepare young people or other specific populations for the academic or technical rigors of an apprenticeship.  Pre-apprenticeships help to reduce turnover in registered apprenticeship programs while providing participants with an understanding of the different career pathways available in a specific industry.

“These grants provide a critical piece of funding to expand the size and scope of our successful Industry Partnerships while fueling innovation in our private sector partners,” said H. Patrick Clancy, President and CEO of Philadelphia Works. “As more employers realize the benefits of building sustainable training programs, we will be ready to help guide and facilitate the creation of new models and career pathways that serve both job seekers and businesses. On behalf of the staff and stakeholders of Philadelphia Works, we thank Governor Wolf for his continued leadership on this important issue.”

The PAsmart grants will help Philadelphia workforce stakeholders address many of the recommendations put forth in Fueling Philadelphia’s Talent Engine, the citywide workforce development strategy released in 2018. The strategy focuses on three main goals: preparing Philadelphians with the skills employers need; addressing barriers to career opportunities; and building a workforce system that is more coordinated, innovative and effective.

The full list of PAsmart grant recipients in Philadelphia include:

Next Gen IP – Convening

  • Philadelphia Works
    $45,000 for Southeastern Pennsylvania Manufacturing Alliance (SEPMA)
  • Philadelphia Works
    $35,038 for Greater Philadelphia Hospitality & Entertainment Next Gen Partnership

Next Gen IP – Implementation

  • Philadelphia Works
    $200,000 for Southeastern Pennsylvania Manufacturing Alliance (SEPMA)


  • Philadelphia Area Labor-Management Committee
    $90,000 for Philadelphia Region Next Gen Construction IP
  • Asbestos Workers Local Union No. 14 DBA International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers JAC (LU14) Training Center
    $70,000 for Women of Mechanical Insulation
  • Philadelphia Carpenters Joint Apprentice Committee (JAC)
    $50,346 for Certified Safety Instruction
  • Aubrey Karoglan
    $149,780 for Medical Assisting Apprenticeship Universal Audenried & GPHA
  • District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund
    $150,000 for Southeast PA Center for Health & Human Services Apprenticeship at the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund
  • First Up
    $68,262 for The Wister Institute’s Biomedical Research Technician Apprenticeship


  • Philadelphia OIC
    $149,985 for Philadelphia OIC Drone Technology Program
  • JEVS Human Services
    $150,000 for Philadelphia TechServ Scholars AmeriCorps Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Program
  • Community College of Philadelphia
    $150,000 for CCP/SEPMA Partnership – Career Readiness Soft Skills Growing Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Program
  • Tech Impact
    $100,000 for ITWorks Pre-Apprenticeship Program
  • The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture
    $77,000 for Arts2Work
  • School District of Philadelphia
    $77,000 for Access Point High School Apprenticeship
  • Community College of Philadelphia
    $60,000 for CCP/SEPMA Partnership
  • The Wister Institute
    $50,000 for The Wister Institute’s Biomedical Technician Training Program
  • District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund
    $45,950 for Southeast PA Behavioral Health Pre-Apprenticeship: An ApprenticeshipPHL Program at the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund
  • Philadelphia Youth Network, Inc. (PYN)
    $45,950 for Health Retail Pharmacy Technician Pre-Apprenticeship Program
  • Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center (DVIRC)
    $40,000 for AMT Pre-Apprenticeship Pilot Program
  • Philadelphia Area Labor-Management Committee
    $40,000 for Philadelphia Region Next Gen Construction Industry Partnership
  • District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund
    $300,000 for Pennsylvania Early Childhood Education Registered Apprenticeship Program Ambassador Network
  • Philadelphia Works (on behalf of ApprenticeshipPHL)
    $300,000 for SEPA Region Registered Apprenticeship Ambassador Network
View All Articles