Pa. awards $2M in clean energy grants to boost workforce development

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Good Friday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

The Wolf administration has announced that it’s awarded a total of $2 million in grants to four clean energy entities to help them address recruiting and retention issues — a challenge that was made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry said the grants will “identify individual employer and collective industry workforce needs, while also developing solutions to those needs,” and are intended to create opportunities for people from underserved communities.

Like other sectors, the industry was hit hard by the economic downturn from the pandemic, the agency said, pointing to a 2021 report from the Department of Environmental Protection showing that the state lost 13,200 clean-energy jobs between March and December 2020. That’s a 14 percent decline compared to 2019, the administration said.

“This grant program will help to develop practical solutions to improving the clean-energy sector’s workforce,” Labor & Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier said.

“While the commonwealth and the nation continue their respective recoveries from the pandemic, L&I is committed to making sure the clean-energy sector not only thrives but exceeds industry standards – and that begins by investing in the future of its workers,” Berrier continued. “This money will, among many things, help to promote clean-energy jobs, assist with recruiting efforts and develop strategies for long-term retention.”

(Image via pxHere.com)

The entities benefiting from the Clean Energy Workforce Development grants ($500,000 each) are:

Philadelphia Works:
“This project is a partnership between the workforce development boards of Philadelphia, Bucks, and Delaware counties to provide support to employers in the clean-energy industry,” the agency said in its statement. “This support will come in the form of assessment and planning, support in developing strategies to enhance recruitment hiring and retention, and connection to training for new hires and incumbent workers.”

Partner4Work:
“Partner4Work will work with Pittsburgh Gateway, Omicelo, a real estate investment firm, and PA CareerLink alongside employers, businesses and additional community partners in Allegheny County to create a coordinated industry partnership that will create a pipeline for individuals from underserved communities to access training and the quality jobs available within the clean-energy sector,” officials said.

Chester Workforce Development Board (WDB):
This grant “is for a program in Chester, Berks and Montgomery counties through the Chester County Economic Development Council’s (CCEDC) Smart Energy Initiative (SEI),” officials said.

Lackawanna County WDB
“The Green Clean Serene (GCS) Changing the Global Environment project provides a myriad of activities designed to support business and industry as they maneuver the ever-changing workforce environment and emerge from the impacts of COVID-19,” the agency said.

The workforce development projects start on July 1 and run through June 2025, the administration said.

U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District, speaking at a Capitol news conference on Thursday, 7/29/21 (C-Span screen capture)

Our Stuff.
The U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection has taken the extraordinary step of ordering U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District, and other top Republicans to appear before the panel, I report.

Pennsylvania Senate President Jake Corman, R-Centre, dropped his faltering bid for governor on Thursday, urging GOP voters to coalesce around former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, as establishment Republicans frantically work to head off a primary win by an insurgent candidate whom they view as unelectable. Story also from me.

U.S. House lawmakers questioned several labor experts before a House Education and Labor panel about how a new bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 would protect workers from wage theft, Capital-Star Washington Reporter Ariana Figueroa reports.

En la Estrella-Capital: Los consumidores podrían ver un aumento del 6 al 45 por ciento en los costos de electricidad este verano, advierte la PUC.

On our Commentary Page this morning: If Roe is overturned, there’s no guarantee people can get abortions in liberal states, two University of Colorado experts write. And what’s behind the U.S. infant formula shortage? A University of Texas/Austin expert answers your questions.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Barnette (LevittownNow.com photo)

Elsewhere.
With her rapid ascension in the polls, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Barnette is now getting scrutiny and criticism from her rivals, the Post-Gazette reports.

Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman appealed for patience as the state tallies primary results next week, PennLive reports.

This year’s Republican governor candidates are pushing for ‘parents rights’ in public education, WITF-FM reports.

City & State Pa. runs down this week’s winners and losers in state politics.

For the second day in a row, an incident was reported Thursday at the ballot drop box in the lobby of Wilkes-Barre’s Penn Place Building, the Citizens’ Voice reports (paywall).

A Montgomery County man will spend three years in federal prison for firing shots into the Montgomery County Democratic Committee’s headquarters last year, the Inquirer reports.

Veteran poll workers shared their memories of elections past with GoErie.

The Morning Call previews the first primary challenge in years against Senate Appropriations Committee Chairperson Pat Browne, R-Lehigh.

PoliticsPA puts the spotlight on the fight for the 17th Congressional District.

Philadelphia City Council is considering steps to ease the impact of new property assessmentsWHYY-FM reports.

Lancaster City Council has voted to limit short-term rentalsLancasterOnline reports.

With the U.S. Senate squabbling, a vote on Ukraine aid has been put off to next weekRoll Call reports.

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:

What Goes On
The desk is clear. Enjoy the silence.

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
8:15 a.m.: Clay shoot benefiting Rep. Torren Ecker, R-Adams. Admission runs $75 to $300.

WolfWatch
Gov. Tom Wolf holds an 11 a.m. news conference at Wesley Union AME Zion Church in Harrisburg to tout his plan to spend federal stimulus money to help Pennsylvania families.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out to PennLive’s Nancy Eshelman who celebrates today. Congratulations and enjoy the day.

Heavy Rotation
Hey! Remember that time The Strokes sounded like The Cars? That was cool. And here’s the very New Wave-y ’12:51,’ where it was memorialized.

Friday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link
Boston forced a Game 7 in its Eastern Conference playoff series against Carolina on Thursday night, beating the Hurricanes 5-2 at TD Garden in what’s turned into a serious homer series. The final game will be played Saturday in Raleigh.

And now you’re up to date.



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