Our universities support workforce development across the commonwealth by preparing and graduating students in high-priority areas and partnering with businesses and industries that fuel our economy.

  • Two in every three PASSHE graduates are earning degrees in areas with in-demand jobs
  • Students earn degrees and certificates that consistently align with the state’s workforce needs
  • Tight alignment between program and workforce needs shows up in employment outcomes

Success Highlights

The U.S. Department of Labor recently awarded Cheyney University $495,878 under the Critical Sectors Job Quality Grants Program, which will be used to establish a Winery Management certification in collaboration with Chaddsford Winery’s vice president and general manager, and the members of the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail. Cheyney is one of seven institutions awarded this grant. 

The partnership between Commonwealth University and the New York State Police began as a simple matter of geography. But a solid Criminal Justice program, interested students, and a welcoming air in three locations kept Trooper Rich Cunningham returning to recruit Mounties, Huskies, and Bald Eagles.

East Stroudsburg University is one of four universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) to receive a $3,448,451 grant from the National Science Foundation to increase recruitment and graduation of students from underrepresented groups in STEM. The five-year grant, NSF’s Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation program (LSAMP), is a joint effort of ESU, Millersville, Slippery Rock, and West Chester.

On March 7, 2024, IUP’s Council of Trustees approved naming the university’s hotel front desk simulation lab in honor of the Statler Foundation. The Statler Foundation donated $125,000 to construct a hotel front desk simulation lab for students in IUP’s Hotel, Restaurant, Tourism, and Event Management program. The simulation lab provides an opportunity for students to experience a real check-in and check-out process at a desk that is custom built for practicing customer service operations, including addressing customer service issues.

Kutztown University was awarded a $1.5 million grant to support its Regenerative Organic Agriculture track within its environmental science program in collaboration with the Rodale Institute. Funding will support student scholarships; internships; renovations to the university teaching greenhouse, adjacent to the newly built Nancy Jean Stump Seiger ’54 Botanical Research Center; professional development for students, faculty and Rodale Institute employees; farming equipment and land care.

In November 2021, Millersville University was awarded a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation Scholarships in STEM program. Two years later, the grant has gone on to provide a myriad of resources for STEM students, providing them with financial resources and real-world experiences.  

Students in PennWest California’s Professional Golf Management program are giving lessons to Cal students and staff as part of the program’s curriculum. The lessons are part of the program’s Golf for Business and Life course. The course, designed by Professor James “JR” Pond and the faculty of the PGM program, was developed to give PGM students first-hand experience in the business side of golf to hone their skills before they enter the golf workforce.

Some funky research is brewing at Shippensburg University and the scientific world is taking notice. Faculty and students from the Chemistry Department are investigating ways to reliably minimize alcohol, tailor taste profiles and speed up the kombucha fermentation process to help home and commercial producers optimize their production.  

Slippery Rock University has received its largest-ever planned estate gift that will have an impact in classrooms beyond those at SRU. Dave and Judy Phillips pledged a $2 million bequest that will fund scholarships and programming to support underrepresented minority students pursuing careers as teachers. 

After having emerged successfully from a rigorous selection process, four West Chester University students in the University’s graduate Athletic Training program will intern with NFL teams from across the country this summer. With the largest Athletic Training program in the country, West Chester University boasts more than 127,000 graduates from its rigorous curriculum.