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River Valley STEAM Academy Welding Technology Program Receives $200,000 Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Grant

River Valley STEAM Academy Welding Technology Program Receives $200,000  Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Grant

The grant to River Valley School District in Indiana County builds on Governor Josh Shapiro’s commitment to investing in programs that provide skill-building opportunities for Pennsylvanians and build a strong workforce for our businesses

Gwen Ross watches a student demonstrate an AR Welder

Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Director of Workforce Development Initiatives Gwen Ross visited students and educators at the River Valley School District STEAM Academy in Indiana County to announce a new $200,000 investment by the Shapiro Administration to help meet the welding needs of regional businesses. The Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career (MTTC) grant will be used to launch a new Welding Technology Workforce Development Program.

The Welding Technology Program will include academic and hands-on training in basic and advanced welding and metal fabrication, use of various hand tools and power equipment, and field operations. Grant funding will be used to provide real world welding experience through a 37-booth welding lab in which students will use equipment to become proficient at Stick, MIG, TIG, and Flux-Core welds along with oxy-acetylene cutting and welding. Participants will also train on a plasma cutter and a robotic welding unit.

Governor Josh Shapiro is committed to developing a strong pipeline of manufacturing workers through technical career training to meet the industry’s growing need for workers while helping Pennsylvanians chart their own course and secure a job with family-sustaining wages.

“This is truly a hands-on approach to spark young Pennsylvanians’ interest in a rewarding career and helping meet manufacturers’ critical need for well-trained professional welders,” said Director Ross. “Through the River Valley School District’s program, students looking for a career path and adult workers already in the job market can develop the advanced tech skills they need to qualify for apprenticeships and well-paying manufacturing opportunities that are available right now.”

Gwen Ross Meets with Students at the STEAM Academy

On completion of the Welding Technology Program both student and adult learners will have the opportunity to participate in a pre-apprenticeship program, which will allow them to hone their skills in an on-the-job environment. If they successfully complete the pre-apprenticeship, they will be qualified to enter a trade union apprenticeship program or a job with a regional manufacturer.

“Partnerships are a crucial part of implementing workforce development programs to help our students achieve success and to align with the needs of regional manufacturers,” said River Valley District Superintendent of Schools Philip Martell. “Our sincere thanks to the Shapiro Administration and Director Ross and for helping us achieve these goals and supporting students of the River Valley STEAM Academy on the path to career success.”

The MTTC grant program works collaboratively with local manufacturers to identify and teach missing essential skills for entry level applicants seeking manufacturing employment, engage youth or those with barriers to career opportunities in manufacturing, and/or advance capacity for local or regional manufacturers.

Governor Shapiro is focused on creating real opportunity for Pennsylvanians, whether that’s through college or the workforce. The 2023-24 bipartisan budget delivers on that promise by investing $23.5 million in workforce training and technical education programs to prepare more students for skilled careers in the building, construction, and infrastructure industries and $6 million in pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programming so Pennsylvanians can earn-while-they-learn and secure a job that leads to family-sustaining wages.

For more information about the Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career program or DCED,

For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on FacebookX, and LinkedIn.