Pa. Gov. Shapiro says millions will go to help train workers for infrastructure projects

Organizations doing infrastructure work stand to benefit significantly from a new training program.

Josh Shapiro speaking at a podium

File photo: Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro speaks at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Jan. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)

Pennsylvania will direct up to $400 million in federal money over the next five years to reimburse organizations that train new infrastructure workers on the job, under an executive order signed Monday by Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro.

A portion of the $19 billion that the state will receive from two federal programs for infrastructure projects will, under the governor’s order, fund the new training program.

Organizations doing infrastructure work — such as repairing roads and bridges, replacing lead pipes and expanding high speed internet — could receive up to $40,000 for each new worker they train. A maximum of $400,000 could be reimbursed through the program, which will be managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

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The grants are meant to reimburse the cost of workers’ salaries and other training costs. Additionally, the money can be used to help employees with housing, child and dependent care, tools, uniforms, educational testing and transportation. The Shapiro administration aims to create 10,000 new jobs.

Shapiro said that reopening a collapsed section of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia in less than two weeks showed “what’s possible when our highly skilled workers get to work and when we have their backs.”

“We need the workforce to be able to do it,” the governor said at a press conference in Pittsburgh. “So one of the biggest hurdles we face is having enough workers trained and ready for these kinds of projects at a time when we now have more money than ever before for this type of investment.”

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