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Summit Successfully Apprises Industry of Apprenticeship Assistance

A sold-out crowd of industry leaders and their advocates, representing 66 employers across Pennsylvania and from four other states, attended Thursday’s inaugural Apprenticeship Summit to address substantive progress in narrowing the skills gap in manufacturing. Attendees were welcomed by Pennsylvania College of Technology President Davie Jane Gilmour, who announced three major related developments: the eligibility of mechatronics apprentices to earn 20 credits toward a two-year Penn College degree in the field; establishment of The Apprenticeship Center on campus as a resource for collaborating with state and local partners; and a $576,000 grant from the state Department of Community & Economic Development to fund apprenticeships in mechatronics and computer numerical control occupations, as well as pre-apprenticeship programs for high school students. The keynote speaker was Robert I. Lerman, a professional economist, Urban Institute fellow and expert on apprenticeships whose resume includes a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Others on the dais included Lori Renne and Alex Halper, from the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry; Jim Nemeth, of Autoneum; and Eric Ramsay, representing the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. The afternoon session featured an interactive program among participants, designed to provide companies with a convenient opportunity to speak to those involved in all facets of apprenticeship.

– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor,
and Larry D. Kauffman, digital publishing specialist/photographer

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