Career & technical education programs get funding boost to help fill need for workers

Lancaster

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – This year’s state budget includes millions of dollars of support for career and technical education programs. The goal is to help fill the high demand for skilled workers.

Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology is getting four million dollars extra this year, so it could expand its programs and train more students.

“If we had 1,400 employers with over 4,000 jobs seeking our close to 400 graduates, obviously most of them didn’t get the human resources they need, which means they can’t do the business that they need to do,” said Dr. William Griscom, the president of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology.

Several chamber of commerces in Pennsylvania say the need for candidates with career and technical education is higher than ever.

“When you have an institution that has been turning away thousands of enrollees because they just didn’t have the room or the space, and at the same time you’re turning away thousands of employers who say, ‘I need welders for this and I need this’…to be able to finally be able to put our money where our mouth is,” said Sen. Scott Martin.

The extra funding was a bipartisan effort.

The school in Lancaster usually gets about a $14 million dollar appropriation, so $18 million is a 27% increase.

Dr. Griscom says this could double enrollment.

“We could increase our electrical mechanical program by fourfold, and we have enough demand from students and certainly enough demand from employers,” said Dr. Griscom. “Our collision repair automotive program…we’re going to be starting a diesel mechanics program.”

Thaddeus Stevens recently opened a new advanced manufacturing center.

It says it’s looking at getting additional space and expanding residence halls.

“I hear about the needs of employers in that specific area more than anything else in terms of jobs,” said Martin. “That is a huge deal not only for Lancaster County but the Central Pennsylvania region.”

Thaddeus Stevens students will see some of the changes this upcoming fall, and others in 2020.

Penn College of Technology in Williamsport got four million dollars of extra funding too.

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