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 HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania will use a $470,000 federal School-to-Work planning and development grant to improve and expand its nationally acclaimed Youth Apprenticeship Program, state Secretary of Education Donald M. Carroll said today.
 The state received the money from the U.S. departments of Labor and Education under an initiative to encourage programs that train students for high-skill jobs.
 "These federal grants will help us bring a highly successful educational concept to more students in a wider variety of career fields," Carroll said. "It is essential that we do this if we are to have a workforce that is ready to fill high-tech jobs in the 21st century."
 Gov. Robert P. Casey created the Youth Apprenticeship Program in 1991 with funding from state, federal and private sources. Demonstration projects began two years ago in six regions of the state, all in metalworking industries. The program expanded to 16 regional sites this year as health care, electronics and manufacturing occupations were added.
 The state provides start-up money and ongoing administrative support to the regional sites.
 As the Clinton administration studies ways to establish a large-scale youth apprenticeship system, Pennsylvania has received national recognition for having a model program. On a visit to the York demonstration project last summer, U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich praised Pennsylvania for leading the way in new approaches toward school- to-work transition.
 Beginning in the 11th grade, student apprentices spend two days a week at a work site, where they learn under an experienced craftsman and are paid for their time on the job by the participating employer. They spend the other three days a week studying a specially designed work-related curriculum in school. They continue working with the same employer while they spend two years in postsecondary education.
 In addition to broadening youth apprenticeship into a statewide system that includes more occupations, Pennsylvania will use the new funds to develop an evaluation and assessment system, a career guidance system and a comprehensive marketing and information plan to make students, educators and business leaders aware of the opportunities.
 The grant was part of a first round of $15 million that was awarded to states on the basis of student population. The federal government plans to spend $100 million this fiscal year on school-to-work initiatives, the remaining $85 million of which will be awarded on a competitive basis.
 -0- 1/7/94
 /CONTACT: Gary Tuma, press secretary, of Commonwealth News Bureau, 717-783-9802/

CO: U.S. Department of Labor; U.S. Department of Education ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

KC -- PG008 -- 0264 01/07/94 16:31 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 7, 1994

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