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TMCNet:  DCED Secretary Applauds Statewide Job-Training Organization, WEDnetPA

[April 28, 2009]

DCED Secretary Applauds Statewide Job-Training Organization, WEDnetPA

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 28, 2009 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- An organization created to strengthen the statewide business environment by providing essential job training for PA workers celebrated its 10th anniversary today.

The Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania (WEDnetPA) marked its 10th year of providing Guaranteed Free Training to Pennsylvania companies.

"Pennsylvania is committed to providing businesses with the necessary tools they need to be strong and successful," Department of Community and Economic Development acting Secretary George Cornelius said today in a Capitol Rotunda celebration. "To date this year, WEDnetPA and the Rendell administration have provided basic and entry-level skills training, and advanced information-technology training to more than 37,000 employees in 64 counties. This investment is providing businesses with an educated, highly-skilled workforce, and it further encourages job growth and business expansion." Guaranteed Free Training is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development through its customized job training program, which was created to provide employers with opportunities for employee training and re-training in: manufacturing fundamentals; product and process control; quality assurance; applied math and measurement; information technology; and many other areas.


Since its inception, more than 800,000 workers at nearly 14,000 companies have been trained in the Guaranteed Free Training program.

"The training provided through WEDnetPA helps Pennsylvania companies stay competitive nationally and internationally by providing training they otherwise might not be able to afford," said WEDnetPA Statewide Director Tom Venditti. "We provide a well-trained workforce so individual companies can survive, thrive, and grow in the commonwealth." Today's event at the Capitol featured remarks by Cornelius, Venditti, Sen. John Gordner, Rep. Peter Daley, and Harrisburg Area Community College Vice President for Development Nancy Rockey, who also is the interim president of HACC's Harrisburg campus. Representatives from 30 companies that have been participants in the Guaranteed Free Training program also attended.

"In order to bid for and subcontract for many government contracts, Electro Soft Inc. needed to have a high-level hand-soldering certification," said James T. Wallace, Electro Soft's president. "WEDnetPA provided funding and a reliable source for training. Over the past two years, Electro Soft has been approved for -- and has received -- numerous subcontracts because of this certification. Without WEDnetPA, some of this training would have been cost prohibitive." In a recent statewide survey, 98 percent of companies receiving training indicated positive outcomes, including improved product/service quality, a safer workplace with fewer accidents, new customers and increased business, improved communications and teamwork, and increases in employee pay and compensation.

Employers have the option to choose any private-sector training provider, any of the 33 WEDnetPA partners, or the company's own in-house staff to address their workforce training needs. More than 7,500 private sector vendors have provided training through the program. Providing companies flexible options in acquiring training has enabled more than 1,500 companies to participate this year.

WEDnetPA is managed by Pennsylvania College of Technology and provides access to training funds through an alliance of 33 educational providers throughout the state, including the 14 Pennsylvania State System universities, Pennsylvania's 14 community colleges, Pennsylvania College of Technology, North Central Industrial Technical Education Center, Lancaster County Career and Technology Center, Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center and the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

These partners coordinate the resources of the WEDnetPA network and serve as points of contact for businesses utilizing the Guaranteed Free Training program. Each year, WEDnetPA partners reach out to a significant number of Pennsylvania companies and employees, strengthening the commonwealth's workforce and businesses and, in turn, strengthening Pennsylvania's economy.

For more information on the Guaranteed Free Training program or other DCED programs, visit www.newpa.com or call 1-866-466-3972.

For additional information, or to determine eligibility for WEDnetPA, companies can visit www.wednetpa.com or contact the statewide office at 877-933-6387.

WEDnetPA Partners: -- Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania -- Bucks County Community College -- Butler County Community College -- California University of Pennsylvania -- Cheyney University of Pennsylvania -- Clarion University of Pennsylvania -- Community College of Allegheny County -- Community College of Beaver County -- Community College of Philadelphia -- Delaware County Community College -- East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania -- Edinboro University of Pennsylvania -- Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center -- Harrisburg Area Community College -- Indiana University of Pennsylvania -- Kutztown University of Pennsylvania -- Lancaster County Career and Technology Center -- Lehigh Carbon Community College -- Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania -- Luzerne County Community College -- Mansfield University of Pennsylvania -- Millersville University of Pennsylvania -- Montgomery County Community College -- North Central Industrial Technical Education Center -- Northampton Community College -- Pennsylvania College of Technology -- Pennsylvania Highlands Community College -- Reading Area Community College -- Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania -- Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania -- University of Pittsburgh at Bradford -- West Chester University of Pennsylvania -- Westmoreland County Community College SOURCE WEDnetPA http://www.wednetpa.com

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