Laurel Technical Institute receives $149,000 state grant for upgrades, scholarships

HARRISBURG, June 16 – State Rep. Mark Longietti announced that Laurel Technical Institute in Sharon has received a $149,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to upgrade equipment, provide scholarships and increase the use of technology in its classrooms.


“Laurel Technical Institute is a key workforce development partner in our community and I am pleased that this grant will help local students receive training for high-demand trades like welding,” said Longietti, D-Mercer. “Access to higher education and linking training opportunities to good jobs and careers are top priorities for our state and region and this grant furthers those goals.” 


The school plans to use a portion of the grant to purchase a virtual reality welding training unit and increase and upgrade equipment used in its trades programs.


“There is a shortage of multi-craft maintenance technicians, welders and skilled tradesman, not just in Northwestern Pennsylvania, but nationwide,” said Nancy Decker, president and chief executive officer of the school. “We are continuing to work to prepare people with the skills to earn a diploma and obtain employment in these high-demand occupations.”


In addition, the school will use the grant to buy tablets for instructors and replace projectors with new wireless projectors that can be used in conjunction with the tablets.


“These classroom upgrades will help us achieve our goal of preparing our students with the skills and experiences they need to succeed in their career now, and 20 years from now,” said Doug Decker, the school’s executive director.


The grant also will be used to provide a variety of financial aid, including help to economically disadvantaged and underserved adult students to cover the cost of welding certification tests; scholarships for economically disadvantaged students; and providing funding for training and certification tests for trade instructors.


The Department of Labor and Industry’s Tech Grants were awarded to schools with a history of training and placing adult students into occupations in high demand. The goal of the program is to strengthen the connection between post-secondary career and technical centers, colleges of technology and local employers.