Grant awarded to establish a new workforce training center for adults with autism in the region

A new training center is coming to the area thanks to a $150,000 award from the Northwest Workforce Development Board.

The Business-Education Partnership Grant at the Northwest Workforce Development Council will provide a career pipeline for students who will benefit from specific training.

The Uniquely Abled Academy will focus on young adults with autism who want to enter the workforce.

This academy will train people in computer numerical control (CNC), machining, and connect Pennsylvania businesses with students.

“Our region’s economy is strong, our workforce is diverse and we have so much potential to train the next generation right here. These funds will go a long way toward continuing programs and connecting people with different abilities with in-demand technical careers right here in our community. ‘” State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, (D), Erie said.

“Building the best possible workforce for our community means tapping into every young adult to help them maximize their skills. Today’s funding will help launch the Uniquely Abled Academy, which will prepare students with autism for careers in CNC machining, a career in high demand in today’s manufacturing industry. This is a victory for students and for our workforce,” said Rep. Pat Harkins, (D), Erie.

“Erie has a very talented pool of students, including students with autism who have a lot to offer, but we need to make sure we reach them with the right resources. The new center will open doors for these students by providing training in high-demand skills to ensure they fulfill productive roles in the workplace,” said Rep. Bob Merski, (D), Erie.

In addition to this academy, the Northwest Workforce Development Board will connect rural students with local employers for work experience or company tours to provide hands-on experience with local industries in the area.

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The North West Workforce Development Board also serves Crawford, Warren, Forest, Venango and Clarion.

Milton S. Rodgers