JARI receives state grant for workforce programs

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Dec. 17—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Johnstown Area Regional Industries received a $150,000 state grant to fund incumbent worker training, a health and safety conference, a youth conference, annual job fair, co-op stipends for high school students, and industry tours for students and educators.

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration announced the grant Friday as part of nearly $4.8 million in PAsmart Industry Partnership Grants distributed among 26 recipients with innovative plans to meet local and regional workforce needs.

"The world of work has changed dramatically in the past few years," Wolf said in a press release. "While change often brings challenge, it also brings opportunity."

Since 2018, the PAsmart initiative has distributed nearly $60 million statewide to expand job training through registered apprenticeships and industry partnerships and to support STEM and computer science education in hundreds of schools across Pennsylvania.

JARI President and CEO Linda Thomson said the general focus of the grant will be to support the organization's industry partnerships.

For 20 years, JARI partnerships have linked a couple hundred companies in Cambria and Somerset counties with workforce development professionals from CareerLink, the Southern Alleghenies Workforce Development Board and local educational providers.

Specific training and recruitment of talent for the area's companies stem from the partnerships, Thomson said.

"The situation with the workforce now is critical that we build talent for region," Thomson said. "We will be able to use money to make sure we have a pipeline of talent ready to work in our companies."

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