Allegheny County – January 12, 2023 – Today, Pennsylvania State Senator Wayne Fontana announced $716,894 in Schools-to-Work Program (STWP) grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I). The grants are intended to enhance career opportunities for young people, especially those interested in apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs.

“These grants give students more options for their career and continued education,” said Senator Fontana. “Trade jobs are good jobs. They’re important for the well-being of our communities and economy. I’m happy to see L&I continue to invest in the future of our young people and in a highly-skilled and trained workforce.”

Grant recipients that serve students in Senator Fontana’s district include:

Carnegie Mellon University – $250,000

This project bridges two key sectors of southwest Pennsylvania’s economy to provide an equity-conscious pathway for learners to enter the workforce immediately, but with core technical understandings geared toward the future. The Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Pathways for Underserved Populations’, also known as RAMP UP, approach leverages trained staff and resources from Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy to deliver SMART Robotics technician training to underserved formal credit recovery high-school students (aged 17-21) at Passport Academy Charter School located on Penn Ave. downtown, a formal learning site where this type of training is typically not found.

PHASE 4 Learning Center – $250,000

The PHASE 4 Giving Opportunities through Robotics and Manufacturing program (P4GO RAM2) is designed to prepare individuals from underserved communities in Pittsburgh/Allegheny County with opportunities to receive a high school education through community partnerships; earn a high school diploma; receive work-readiness/soft-skills training; earn industry-recognized credentials; participate in pre-apprenticeship training; transition to a registered apprenticeship program; and enter the workforce earning a life-sustaining wage. P4GO RAM2 coordinates resources that help underserved youth and young adults find and follow a continuous path to family-sustaining employment. The program also creates networking opportunities through outreach and provides free or reduced tuition costs for program participants.

Pittsburgh Public Schools – $216,894

The Pipeline Into The Trades (P.I.T.T.) Pre‐Apprenticeship Program, sponsored by the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Division of Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) and the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, is designed to augment CTE’s existing carpentry program of study to better prepare students to gain entry into the Carpenters’ Union Apprenticeship Program.

More info about L&I and the Schools-to-Work Program can be found on their website.