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Penn State Erie helps companies find training funds|
By Loretta Brandon
| The Center for Corporate and Adult Learning at Penn State Erie has assisted 19 companies in the Erie, Pa., region in applying for and receiving $431,650 in Workforce Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania (WEDnetPA) grants. These funds are designated for training employees in basic skills and information technology.|
The goal of the WEDnetPA grant program is to strengthen the business environment of the Commonwealth by improving the skill level and productivity of its workers, said Peggy McCarthy, interim director of the Center for Corporate and Adult Learning. Some of the companies weve helped include Steris, PHB Diecast, the Regional Cancer Center, FMC Smith Meter, Foamex, Metro Machine, Erie Coke and many more. And once weve helped these companies obtain WEDnet grants, they often turn to us for their employee training.
Area representative Alice Winkelman said that the Center for Corporate and Adult Learning also has begun to apply for Customized Job Training (CJT) grants for area companies. CJT grants are funded by the Workforce Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania, too, but for a different purpose.
WEDnet funds provide, in a one-year time frame, up to $450 per year per employee for basic skills training and $700 for information technology training, Winkelman said. Customized Job Training grants provide a pool of money for an eligible company to fund more advanced training, and companies have up to two years to use a CJT grant.
McCarthy said the goal of this funding is job creation and retention. With employee training, companies can remain viable and be more competitive in their fields.
This is one way that the Center for Corporate and Adult Learning at Penn State Behrend can support the economic development of our region, McCarthy said. We are providing the link between the resources of Penn State and the needs of local and regional business.