MVMC, West Central Job Partnership Receive $2.5M Labor Grant

NEW CASTLE, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition and the West Central Job Partnership a $2.5 million grant to develop job training programs in the region.

The Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities grant was awarded to 18 areas in the Appalachian and Mississippi Delta regions. Here, it will focus on “replicating, scaling and sustaining sector-driven successes in the Greater Oh-Penn Region,” said the executive director of the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition, Jessica Borza, in a statement.

Through a model of sector partnerships, the organizations will develop talent pipelines in manufacturing and health care. 

Among the strategies being developed and expanded are high school pre-apprenticeship programs that will connect students and employers offering paid work experience, the WorkAdvance program to recruit, train and support low-income adults, and the WorkAdvance advancement cohorts, which provide participants long-term career coaching and training for both individuals and businesses.

Also expanded will be MVMC’s apprenticeship model.

“This project will build upon the successful MVMC group-sponsored apprenticeship programs that make it easier for companies to ‘plug and play’ and will support apprentices through competency-based acceleration strategies,” Borza said.

The grant area covers Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties in Ohio, along with Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties in Pennsylvania.

The MVMC and West Center Job Partnership have previously worked together to manage two other regional programs funded by the Department of Labor: the Workforce Innovation Fund and the American Apprenticeship Initiative.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.