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County awarded grant funds to boost manufacturing capability

Warren County is part of an eight-count cooperative that was awarded grant funds for a manufacturing partnership.

The $168,968 allocation for Warren, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer and Venango came from a $4.7 million state allocation in PAsmart Next Generation Industry grants aimed at boosting workforce development across the state.

The Next Generation Industry Partnership grants bring together multiple employers in the same industry to collectively provide targeted job training so that students, workers, and job seekers get the skills for good jobs in those industries.

The regional collaboration is GR8T Manufacturing.

Per the grant notice, this partnership “is focusing on breaking down silos in their community by facilitating communication among businesses in their partnership under the idea of Business to Business (B2B) Connections.”

“Some other areas of focus are promoting manufacturing careers and branding the region.”

Jim Decker, president/CEO of the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry described it as a “website that manufacturing entities can ‘join.'”

“The concept is for companies to create a listing on the site which explains their capabilities, products and services,” he said. “Then, when someone is looking for something they can search through the companies on this site to see who does what they are looking for.”

Decker said the WCCBI doesn’t yet know what level of interest exists among its member businesses but would be sharing the opportunity with those firms this week.

“Employers need skilled workers now more than ever,” Gov. Wolf said in a statement. “My administration created PAsmart to help close the skills gap and allow more people to get the education and training they need to get better paying jobs. Strengthening job and skills training continues to be a priority and the 28 grants announced today further enhances that goal.”

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