Wolf Administration Invests $1.3 Million To Help Pennsylvanians Learn Computer Skills Needed for Good Jobs

Harrisburg, PA – Continuing to strengthen Pennsylvania’s workforce with technology training, Labor & Industry (L&I) Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier today announced a $1.3 million investment to support local programs that provide computer skills training to help people find good jobs in Pennsylvania. 

The Digital Literacy and Workforce Development Grants (DLWDG) of up to $45,000 each promote digital literacy skills for people looking for work, including the ability to search and apply for online jobs, upload and submit a résumé via email, and the ability to develop and maintain a professional profile on networking sites.  

“Pennsylvania employers need workers with the skills to navigate the new economy emerging in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting Secretary Berrier. “The Digital Literacy and Workforce Development Grants will help ensure that workers develop the basic digital skills they need to succeed when applying for jobs and performing essential job duties that will be required of them in their new career.”   

L&I Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Sheila Ireland today visited $45,000 DLWDG recipient Full Circle Computing Inc., in Exton, Chester County. The program helps people without home access to personal computers or Internet service, and delivers training on basic technology and computer skills, Microsoft Office, job searches, finding employment opportunities, digital citizenship and digital navigation. 

“As Pennsylvania deals with the increased demand for employees to be able to telework, we must ensure that employees can effectively navigate the technology platforms used in the workplace,” said Deputy Secretary Ireland. “These grants support the Wolf Administration’s goal to prepare individuals for job searching and emerging employment opportunities, particularly in communities with limited broadband access, and to help jobs seekers obtain employment with family sustaining wages.”   

The following DLWDG winners and amounts were awarded. The DLWDG programs will operate from July 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022. To view full details, visit Digital Literacy and Workforce Development Grants.  

Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (Columbia County – $45,000; Northumberland County – $45,000; Union County – $45,000)

Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit will use the computer lab at its main office, the computer lab at the central Susquehanna LNP Career Center, and partner with the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum to enable 325 adults to earn certifications in four digital literacy domains: digital fundamentals, job seeking, citizenship, and navigation skills.  

Intermediate Unit 1 (Washington County – $45,000)

The Intermediate Unit 1 will address the need for basic digital literacy in this geographical area through the delivery of both in-person and virtual services for those clients seeking training. IU1’s face-to-face training at the PA CareerLink® site will address the need of those whose learning is optimized through in-person training, extend that training through asynchronous video sessions designed to build upon that training, and provide virtual office hours for clients in need of support and direction. 

Jane and Annette Herr Memorial Library (Union County – $40,000)

The Future Starts Here Program is an adult digital literacy program that will support individuals in Union County by providing access to computers and training to assist in employment opportunities for participants.  

Literacy Council of Lancaster-Lebanon, LVA, Inc. (Lebanon County – $45,000)

This Digital Literacy for Employment Success project is designed to help bridge the digital literacy gap in Lebanon County. Adult learners will participate in instruction and practice that address digital fundamentals, digital job seeking, digital citizenship and digital navigation.  

Northern Tier Workforce Development Board (Bradford County – $41,363; Sullivan County – $10,432; Susquehanna County – $21,019; Tioga County – $43,913; Wyoming County – $16,843)

The Northern Tier Workforce Board will collaborate with established partners to provide digital literacy instruction to underserved communities that will enable individuals to navigate technology in the current climate. Digital literacy services will be provided to communities through a combination of enhanced mobile service and cohort training.   

SCPa Works on behalf of Employment Skills Center (Cumberland County – $45,000), Perry County Literacy Council (Juniata County – $45,000; Perry County – $45,000), and The Valley Lighthouse (Dauphin County – $45,000)

These funds will focus on targeting digital literacy and career readiness skills to women who have been displaced due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Through leveraged funding and partnerships with Harrisburg University, Title I&II, TANF funding, Employment Skills Center will deliver digital literacy and career readiness skills through multiple mechanisms to individuals with barriers to employment. In Juniata and Perry counties, the grants will specifically target rural citizens. 

Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11 (Mifflin County – $44,164)

TIU will develop and implement an effective program that will enhance foundational digital literacy skills for job seekers in Mifflin County, PA. This instructor-based learning will focus on digital fundamentals, digital navigation, digital job seeking and digital citizenship. Once developed, four cohorts, consisting of two, one-month courses will be offered throughout duration of the grant period. Through this project, at least 40 job seekers will gain practical job search and employability skills to help them succeed in the workforce. 

Blueprints (Greene County – $45,000)

Blueprints’ Digital Literacy & Workforce Development Program will target lower-income residents and the residents of public housing communities, assisting them through the digital career development process. Blueprints’ staff will help participants develop/enhance digital literacy skills, determine career goals and access technology in addition to providing participants with assistance and linkages to family support services including early learning for children, childcare, criminal record expungement, transportation and Title I linkages. 

Intermediate Unit 1 (Greene County – $45,000)

Grant funds will be used to address the need for basic digital literacy in this geographical area through the delivery of both in-person and virtual services for those clients seeking training. IU1’s face-to-face training at the PA CareerLink® site will address the need of those whose learning is optimized through in-person training, extend that training through asynchronous video sessions designed to build upon that training, and provide virtual office hours for clients in need of support and direction. 

Literacy Pittsburgh (Allegheny County – $45,000; Beaver County – $45,000)

Literacy Pittsburgh will enable 850 disadvantaged job seekers to develop the digital skills needed to support their post-COVID comeback. The program will offer regular, skill-focused classes at the PA CareerLink® centers in Downtown Pittsburgh and the Beaver area offices, at the Downtown learning center and area offices, as well as staff operated computer lab hours for job seekers wishing to build skills.  

Private Industry Council (Fayette County – $45,000; Westmoreland County – $45,000)

Private Industry Council will offer quarterly workshops to teach digital literacy focused on development skills to assist individuals in securing and maintaining jobs. 

Titusville Regional Literacy Council (Crawford County – $41,877; Forest County – $37,802)

This project will provide instruction in computer skills to allow adults to become more employable and increase their opportunities to earn gainful employment to support their families. The curriculum will include learning to use a computer, word processing, spreadsheets, navigating the internet, job search skills, résumé and cover letter writing, virtual interviews, applying for jobs online, and more as needed.  

Berks Latino Workforce Development Corporation, Inc. (Berks County – $45,000)

This project offers dual-language (English and Spanish) adult basic education and occupational training to participants age 18 and over and will allow Berks Latino Workforce Development Corporation to establish a language learning lab in combination to virtual training in technological and non-technological career paths.  

Community Learning Center (Philadelphia County – $45,000)

Community Learning Center will provide program participants with foundational digital literacy skills through focused instruction, access to staffed computer labs, and support in digital navigation and digital job seeking. 

Full Circle Computing, Inc. (Chester County – $45,000)

Full Circle will work directly with the Chester County Workforce Development Board to provide Digital Literacy for Chester County’s most affected populations. The program will focus on teaching Digital Literacy to job seeking participants, particularly those without PC’s or Internet, delivering training on basic technology and PC skills, Microsoft Office skills training, job searches, finding employment opportunities, digital citizenship and digital navigation. 

Goodwill Industries of NEPA (Lackawanna County – $45,000)

Goodwill Industries of NEPA’s program will provide free, accessible digital training and job seeking support to at-risk/disadvantaged populations including persons living in rural communities, women, Hispanics, blacks, and persons living in poverty. Participants will be engaged in varying levels of digital skills training and earn nationally accredited Northstar Digital Literacy Certificates while also receiving employment pathways support, job seeker training, employment placement assistance, and comprehensive referral services.  

Luzerne County Community College (Luzerne County – $45,000)

Luzerne County Community College will provide services directed at the development of digital literacy for adult learners. This project will teach transferable workplace digital literacy skills to adult basic education students in nine critical contexts: adaptability & willingness to learn; communication; critical thinking; interpersonal skills; navigating systems; problem solving; processing and analyzing information; respecting differences and diversity; and self-awareness. The training content will include information that is integrated and contextualized to the workplace.  

Manor College (Montgomery, Bucks and Philadelphia counties – $45,000)

Manor College Career Mindset: Readiness and Job Search Training helps their students, and the public at large, with in-class and online training for career readiness and in job searches.  The project will develop a curriculum for career readiness and job search training and will also support a facilitator who works with faculty to enhance the career readiness they teach in class.  

Millersville University (Lancaster County – $45,000)

Recognizing that local libraries have deep roots in the communities they serve, Millersville University will partner with two libraries to deliver computer and digital literacy training focused on providing the skills to assist participants in job seeking and job performance. They will accomplish this through a combination of in-person instruction and online course content, with an aim toward increasing comfort with and experience in online learning to create significant opportunities for lifelong learning and skill-building.  

Scranton Lackawanna Human Development Agency (Lackawanna County – $45,000)

The proposed instruction and mobile computer lab will provide job seekers skills needed for the 21st century job market. The curriculum will be based around an in-person format at their centralized location and other community locations that are able to offer free parking and no-cost use of space.  

Digital Literacy and Workforce Development Grants are 100 percent federally funded by federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Statewide Activity funding. WIOA Statewide Activity funding can be used to help job seekers and workers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the labor market.  

Additional information is available on the L&I website at www.dli.pa.gov or by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.   

MEDIA CONTACT:  Sarah DeSantis, [email protected]  

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