Apprenticeship pilot program would encourage local partnerships
HARRISBURG – In a bipartisan effort to prepare Pennsylvania’s youth for the 21st century workforce, state Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence) has teamed up with Reps. Kate Klunk (R-York) and Jared Solomon (D-Philadelphia) to introduce legislation which would allow high school students to obtain real-world work experience while still in school.
House Bill 796
would establish a pilot grant program which would encourage schools and local businesses to collaborate to provide work-based learning opportunities for high school students.
“This innovative pilot program would bring our business leaders and students together to transform our education system and prepare Pennsylvania students for Pennsylvania jobs,” Bernstine said.
The pilot program is based on a successful partnership in southcentral Pennsylvania between the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce, numerous Hanover-area businesses, the Hanover Public School District and South Western School District.
Through their program, businesses are helping to design curriculum and investing in equipment for students to learn trades and obtain recognized certifications.
“The Hanover area is at the forefront of apprenticeship programs and this initiative would propel it, and programs elsewhere in the Commonwealth, forward,” said Klunk, whose district includes Hanover.
Solomon noted that one of the goals of the program is to familiarize students with all after-graduation options.
“This program would help our students obtain a better idea of what path they would like to pursue after high school, whether it’s college or other secondary education or perhaps remain with the company where they received workforce experience,” Solomon said.
The program would also encourage partnering businesses to offer apprenticeship, internship or job opportunities to students.
“This is a win-win partnership for our students, schools and business community,” added Bernstine. “Our students would be earning industry-recognized qualifications that would make them job ready on graduation day. I’m proud to partner with Reps. Klunk and Solomon on this pilot program which we hope to spread throughout the Commonwealth.”
Representative Aaron Bernstine
10th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Haslam