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AL nonprofit urges Medicaid expansion to save rural hospitals; Harris skipping Netanyahu address shows daylight with Biden on Israeli leader; Biden to give first speech since dropping out of race; IN students face stricter attendance rules, new reading requirements; New Missouri law ensures medication access.

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Kamala Harris builds momentum toward nomination and vets potential Veeps. She and Trump take aggressive stances, as plans for a September debate continue. Sen. Bob Menendez says he'll resign, but will also appeal his corruption conviction.

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There's a gap between how rural and urban folks feel about the economy, Colorado's 'Rural is Rad' aims to connect outdoor businesses, more than a dozen of Maine's infrastructure sites face repeated flooding, and chocolate chip cookies rock August.

Report: Federal funding would ignite apprenticeships, create job pathways

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Friday, November 17, 2023   

Pennsylvania needs more economic opportunities and a new report from the Keystone Research Center showed federal investments in climate and infrastructure projects would help grow a skilled construction workforce.

Diana Polson, senior policy analyst at the center, said the report revealed federal money would create thousands of trade jobs through expanding union construction apprenticeships leading to quality careers, as electricians, operating engineers, carpenters, and laborers.

"In Pennsylvania, for example, these apprenticeships train workers for jobs that pay more than most college-educated workers earn, and 61% more than the average worker in Pennsylvania," Polson pointed out. "Significantly, this training comes without any student debt."

Polson added Gov. Josh Shapiro wants to use 3% of the federal funds from recently signed climate and infrastructure laws to expand workforce development and apprenticeships. Shapiro's 2023-24 budget includes $6 million for the effort.

Polson noted President Joe Biden's Good Jobs Initiative seeks to embed job quality and equity incentives into the federal funding, to make sure apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeships benefit underserved communities. She called it a huge win all around, for the state, climate, for those communities, and taxpayers.

"We had shared this in the report, research has shown that for every dollar invested in apprenticeship $35 is returned to the government in higher tax collections, or reduced expenditures on public assistance or unemployment over the career of an apprentice," Polson emphasized. "These are huge returns on investments."

Keystone Research Center said the resources will lead to high-wage union construction careers. The center is holding a webinar today at 1 p.m. on construction apprenticeship programs in coal country, in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

Disclosure: The Keystone Research Center contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, and Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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