Reynoldsville, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak toured the Jefferson County-DuBois Area Vocational-Technical School (Jeff Tech) on Thursday, May 16 and highlighted Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP).

The bold workforce development plan invests in Pennsylvanians from birth to retirement, and includes expanding job skills training for students and adults.

“Pennsylvania’s economic future depends on a well-educated and highly-trained workforce,” said Oleksiak. “Jeff Tech provides students and adult learners with the STEM education and hands-on job training they need to succeed, and employers with access to a job-ready talent pipeline that they need to grow and thrive.”

Oleksiak toured some of Jeff Tech’s job training programs including HVAC/R and Precision Machine programs, and the Practical Nursing and Health Assisting Simulated Patient Lab.

Oleksiak said the governor’s SWEAP plan builds on last year’s successful launch of PAsmart to create a more qualified and highly-skilled workforce. The proposed PAsmart funding includes:

  • $20 million to expand computer science and STEM education;
  • $7 million to expand registered apprenticeships;
  • $3 million to expand job training through Next Generation Industry Partnerships;
  • $6 million to expand adult career and technical education programs; and
  • $4 million to expand Manufacturing to Career Training Grants.

Other SWEAP components would enable more children to attend high-quality child care; ensure kids are in school by age 6 and stay until age 18; modernize the minimum teacher salary to help address a teacher shortage; expand opportunities for teachers to visit local employers and bring the experience back to the classroom, and increase job training for low-income parents.

The governor also recently created the Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center. The partnership between state government and private sector leaders will identify and address the barriers to work, skills gaps, and worker shortages in Pennsylvania.

“Jeff Tech continues to strive to fulfill its mission to ensure our students receive the opportunity for additional educational experiences, graduate with industry-recognized credentials, acquire training in emerging career trends, and attain placement in a high-demand career,” said Barry Fillman, administrative director, Jeff Tech. “We are responding to the constantly developing industrial landscape and continue to cultivate opportunities in a growing economy.”

Jeff Tech is a comprehensive career and technical high school offering exceptional training in 14 technical training areas. It offers core high-school academics alongside CTE and cooperative education programs. Jeff Tech also offers a wide range of adult education opportunities, including full-time, short-term, and online programs. The adult education program provides career training and certifications, which empower graduated adults to become more marketable in the workplace.

For more information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit PAsmart.