(The Center Square) – Delaware Gov. John Carney on Tuesday announced a $50 million investment in the Forward Delaware jobs-training program, using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, to help industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and provide work experience services for students.
“We’re focused on investments that will build on the strengths of Delaware’s world-class workforce and support Delaware families and businesses who were most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Carney said in a news release. “These workforce development programs will help Delawareans develop the skills they need to succeed in a 21st century economy. And the expansion of our Pathways program will connect even more students with real-world work experience while they’re still in school.”
The investment, according to the release, includes $15.8 million to expand the state’s Pathways program, allowing students to gain real work experience while remaining in school.
“This public-private partnership makes strategic investments in our workforce that were not only hit the hardest during the pandemic as well as those that will lead us into the future with a focus on careers in STEM, healthcare, increasing women and minorities in construction, and our restaurant and hotel industry,” Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long said in the release.
Through the investment, according to the release, the Pathways 2.0 program expands to middle schools, where it will reach more than 6,000 students and grow the Pathways program to reach more than 32,000 students in the state.
The state, according to the release, is investing $8.3 million into the Pathways 2.0 program aiming at health care, IT, finance, and engineering career fields and expand apprenticeship programs.
Additional investments will be made in the Department of Labor, which will use $1.5 million for training programs, and $1.2 million for the Delaware Department of Transportation for recruiting women, minorities and disadvantaged residents seeking employment in the highway construction industry, the release reads.