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June 7, 2019

Deputy Secretary Cipriani visits with AGMA and FTI to discuss apprenticeship program

AGMA was pleased to join FTI in hosting the Department of Labor & Industry Deputy Secretary Eileen Ciprianni and give her a tour of the glaziers’ facility as well as an understanding of the glazier curriculum for pre-apprentices (high school program), apprentices, journey person certifications and all the way up to higher education degrees. The full press release is below.

Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani toured a state-registered apprenticeship program for in-demand architectural glass and metal technicians, called glaziers, in Philadelphia. The apprentices learn to cut, install, replace, and remove all types of glass and architectural metal, filling the growing demand for skilled glaziers for both residential and commercial projects.

Industries are experiencing a shortage of trained workers, which is one of the reasons why Governor Wolf is investing in skills training, STEM education, and job prog
rams such as the glaziers registered apprenticeship, said Cipriani. Not everyone wants a four-year college degree, but every worker needs real-world skills for in-demand, 21st century jobs. The governors SWEAP proposal is the bold plan Pennsylvania needs to strategically invest in its workers and economy.

Governor Tom Wolfs Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP) plan would expand career and technical education and STEM programs so students and adults are prepared for 21st century jobs.

Cipriani toured the glazier facility at the Finishing Trades Institute of the Mid-Atlantic Region (FTI), and viewed demonstrations on the machinery, including virtual welding machines and the water testing wall. She also participated in a roundtable discussion with representatives from FTI and the Architectural Glass & Metal Association. The glazier registered apprenticeship program is the only program within the Finishing Trades Institute, and one of only a few in the country, where apprentices graduate with an associates degree.

Cipriani said the governors SWEAP plan builds on last years 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 age 6 and raise the dropout age to 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.