Governor Wolf: $8.2 Million Investment to Help “Near Completers” Impacted by Pandemic Attain Degrees and Get In-Demand Jobs

Governor Tom Wolf announced today $8.2 million has been awarded to help Pennsylvanians with partially completed degrees or credentials attain the education they need to get better paying, in-demand jobs.

“Now more than ever, it’s imperative to take the skills and knowledge people have obtained through partially completed degrees and put them to good use in high-demand, better paying jobs,” said Gov. Wolf. “These projects will make a direct investment in Pennsylvanians who are within one semester or less of completing their certificate or degree and help build a brighter future for these workers and their families.”

The Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) awarded four Near Completer Demonstration Project (NCDP) grants to assist 1,000 job seekers who have been displaced from employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The projects, which will operate for 24 months beginning July 1, 2021, will further expand the education of the participants and connect them with high priority occupations that pay $15 per hour or higher.

The following Local Workforce Development Boards received NCDP grant funds:

Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board (Lehigh and Northampton counties) – $1.6 million

Workforce Board Lehigh Valley’s “Finish What You Start” project is a holistic workforce system of education, training, support services and employment targeted to 200 COVID-impacted dislocated workers. Workforce Board Lehigh Valley is partnering with Lehigh Carbon Community College and Northampton Community College to target these workers who stopped out, dropped out or did not complete their post-secondary education and re-engage them in education, training and employment earning $15 per hour or more.

Philadelphia Workforce Development Board (Montgomery and Philadelphia counties) – $2.5 million

Philadelphia Works and MontcoWorks will collaborate with various partners to identify 300 dislocated workers who are within one semester or less of completing their certificate or degree. Participants will receive education, training, tuition supports, in-depth case management and support services to ensure their quick completion and connection to employment with wages of at least $15 per hour.

South Central Workforce Development Board (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties) – $1.6 million

SCPA Works will assist 200 area displaced workers with the opportunity to achieve credentialing, certifications and degrees. As part of their approach, SCPA Works is partnering with post-secondary educational institutions to reengage students who have dropped out to complete their academic pathway and begin earning a minimum of $15 per hour.

Three Rivers Workforce Development Board (Allegheny County, City of Pittsburgh) – $2.5 million

Three Rivers Workforce Development Board is focused on providing resources to 300 “near completers” to finish their degree or credential within one semester and connect them with regional employers. Activities will work to quickly reskill or upskill displaced workers so that they may re-enter employment with the skills necessary to effectively compete for and connect to jobs that pay family-sustaining wages, fostering a strong, dynamic workforce for the region.

The Near Completer Demonstration Project (NCDP) grants are funded 100% with federal funding from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Additional information about L&I’s available grant opportunities is available at Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.