EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — On Wednesday, Governor Tom Wolf announced that $297,000 will be provided to fund the training of 30 new electrical worker apprentices.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 163 Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) will train 30 people from Bradford, Luzerne, Sullivan, and Wyoming Counties in a 5 year apprenticeship program.

The program consists of 8,000 hours of on the job training and 900 hours of classroom instruction. Participants will earn $13 to $27 an hour plus benefits as an apprentice.

“The demand for Qualified Electrical Workers in our four-county area is growing. With support from DCED [The Department of Community and Economic Development], our program will increase enrollment to meet the needs of local employers while also preparing individuals with a high school diploma or GED earn a living wage. Beginning next year, apprentices will also have access to our new Advanced Technology Center where they can gain skills to work in green industries such as solar and electrical vehicles,” explained training director John Nadolny.

Wolf has supported 85 pre-apprentice and apprenticeship programs through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCDE) Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program, designed to make apprenticeships more available in Pennsylvania and help employers recruit new talent.

“Skilled trade workers are vital to Pennsylvania’s economy. Investing in apprenticeship programs, where participants can earn a wage while learning a valuable new skill, is one way we can ensure there is a strong pipeline of new talent for these key industries,” said Gov. Wolf.

For more information about the Pre-Apprentice and Apprenticeship Grant Program, visit the DCDE’s website.