Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley got to see firsthand many of the training tools used by Hiram G. Andrews Center students on Thursday.
There were computers, kitchen utensils, a state-of-the-art 3D printer, an ergonomic right-handed keyboard and more.
But even after students use those tools to get an education, jobs can still be difficult to find, especially for those with disabilities, such as individuals at the Andrews center in Upper Yoder Township.
So the lieutenant governor also took some time to promote a program called Jobs for All, part of Gov. Tom Corbett’s JOBS1st PA agenda. The proposal would provide reimbursement for businesses that offer on-the-job-training. The first phase of the plan could help employers hire up to 1,000 young adults with disabilities.
“To make an investment like this is going to reap huge dividends down the road, so the governor understands that and that’s why he’s called for this investment in this year’s budget,” Cawley said. “We’re very hopeful that the Legislature is going to pass the budget and we’ll move on with implementing the plan as soon as possible.”
He added, “Preparing people in order to be a part of the workforce is probably one of the best things that you can do regardless if they are individuals with disabilities or not.”
A $1 million investment by the state would allow for the drawdown of an additional $3.8 million in available federal funds, according to the lieutenant governor.
The project is part of Corbett’s proposed $29.4 billion 2014-15 budget.
“With this year’s budget, Gov. Corbett has put an emphasis on job training for those specific individuals from our population who need it the most, so that the education and the training that is provided here, at the Andrews center, can lead to greater opportunity for all of Pennsylvania, reaffirming our commitment to helping those very individuals, some of whom are here today, to find family-sustaining jobs and prepare them with the skills that the workforce and that the employers are expecting and require, that they truly be equipped to meet the demands of the 21st century workforce,” said Cawley, who is running unopposed for the Republican lieutenant governor nomination in this year’s primary.
Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Dave_Sutor.