PAsmart is a $30 million grant investment (PDF) to expand classroom instruction and training. These grants aim improve access to science, technology, engineering, and math education for all students. PAsmart also focuses on increasing computer science (CS) education to prepare Pennsylvania’s workforce.
These grants will support schools, students, workers and businesses across the state. PAsmart will help Pennsylvanians develop the skills they need for the job they want. It will also support businesses through creating a skilled workforce to hire. Learn more about each specific PAsmart grants below.
K-12 Computer Science and STEM Education grants: $20 million
Over the past 10 years, seven in 10 new jobs in Pennsylvania will use computers. PAsmart provides funding to increase STEM and CS education in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. These grants also provide professional development for teachers to include in their classroom.
Two funding tiers were made available to local education agencies (LEAs), each having its own purpose and audience:
- Targeted Grants, of up to $35,000 each, are structured to meet the needs of LEAs and their schools that currently have limited to no CS offerings. These grants are meant to fund teams of educators (4 or more) who would like to be trained on ways to implement CS in their classrooms. No prior CS experience is required, and applications are meant to take less than 30 minutes to complete. There will be follow-up funding to purchase products and equipment after the training. View the recipients of the PAsmart Targeted Grants (announced January 17, 2019). View an interactive Google Map that highlights the location of each grant recipient.
- Advancing Grants, of up to $500,000 each, are high-level comprehensive grants meant to support entities that have 50 or more students participating in CS/STEM experiences. These grants give regions a chance to leverage or expand CS/STEM ecosystems, grow partnerships between LEAs, higher education institutions, businesses, and other CS/STEM-focused organizations, to expand CS/STEM experiences to historically underserved populations, and to expand the pool of CS/STEM educators.
You can learn more about the K-12 Computer Science and STEM education grants on the PA Department of Education’s website.
Registered Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeships grants: $7 million
As part of the PAsmart initiative, Registered Apprenticeship, Pre-Apprenticeship, and Apprenticeship Ambassador Network Grants will be offered to support potential and existing programs to increase “earn while you learn” opportunities across Pennsylvania.
Registered apprenticeships provide hands-on learning experiences for students or workers while they earn a paycheck. There are 16,380 registered apprentices in Pennsylvania – with the goal of increasing to 30,000 by 2025. This investment aims to expand registered apprenticeship programs.
Industry Partnerships grants: $3 million
Convening and Implementation Grants are available to support the development and launch of Next Generation Industry Partnerships (Next Gen IPs) throughout the commonwealth with the goal of implementing and sustaining business-driven priorities.
The Industry Partnerships program connects similar businesses with educational and economic development partners to provide the job training and aligning public resources to support connecting Pennsylvania workers to vacant jobs and quality wages.
You can learn more about the Apprenticeship and Industry Partnership grants on the PA Department of Labor & Industry’s website.