Governor Gives MRC Grant to Close Skills Gap


Corbett in Valley to give grant to resource center

 By Bill Kline and Brian Pedersen  March 28. 2013

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett was in Schnecksville this afternoon to present a $298,500 grant to Manufacturers Resource Center of Bethlehem. The grant is to invest in training more students from Lehigh and Northampton counties in the technical skills required by area employers. The grant was presented after a tour of the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute.

Gov. Tom Corbett presents a grant during a tour of the Lehigh Career and Technical Insitute in Schnecksville.

The initiative is a collaborative effort involving MRC, DaVinci Science Center in Allentown, LCTI and the Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board.Corbett was joined at the ceremony by faculty, students, LCTI Executive Director Sandra Himes, president of the MRC Board of Directors Peter Rittenhouse (of Nestle Waters-North America), and Jack Pfunder, president and CEO of MRC.”It’s business and industry that drives our programs,” Himes said. “Employers are lining up at the door to hire our students. We certainly need more students in the pipeline.”

Corbett echoed the need for skilled workers, saying that perhaps educators should guide more students into fields where there are job opportunities, such as in manufacturing, where students will need basic skills including math.

“We know in the trades industry, 25 percent are retiring,” Corbett said. “… We want to give them [students] opportunities to reach the dream, wherever it is. We have to start rethinking how we reach them.”

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