PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Growing out economy by training young people for in-demand jobs – that is the goal of Gov. Tom Wolf’s “PA Smart” initiative.
The governor was in Pittsburgh on Wednesday to announce the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation will receive more than $400,000 to help with STEAM education — science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.
Children might not understand the significance of PA Smart just yet, but Wolf’s initiative is being implemented with them in mind.
“You can’t find enough people with the right skills,” Wolf said. “Too many people are stuck in low-wage jobs. They don’t have the training to get ahead. We need them to get ahead.”
Speaking in Pittsburgh, the Governor announced a partnership with the Pens Foundation all in the name of STEAM education.
“The Foundation will receive more than $442,000 to expand STEAM Lending Libraries across Western PA,” said Wolf.
The foundation is the first recipient of a PA Smart advanced grant. The money will help the foundation extend its resources to 206 school districts across 22 counties.
“School districts want to make investments in STEM education, but they don’t know what the products are,” said David Soltesz, president of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. “The Lending Library allows them to kick the tires. It allows them to lend and borrow the product.”
The overarching goal is to grow our workforce and strengthen our economy by better equipping our children for available jobs.
“The jobs are there, the innovation is there, the education at the higher level is there, but there is not a bridge to connect it,” said Penguins CEO David Morehouse. “Programs like these will help connect that bridge.
The STEAM education begins as soon as children are able to attend preschool. Several kids were enjoying some hands-on learning as the public-private partnership was being announced.
“We have got to do everything that we can to make sure that the people of Pennsylvania have the tools, the talents, the skills they need to take the jobs we need them to take,” said Wolf.
The Commonwealth is on a comeback, according to the governor, and with more resources being devoted to develop our workforce, the future looks even brighter.