News Around The Region February 2013

February 1, 2013

Congratulations to Silicon Power Corporation

ARPA-E Awards $130 Million to 66 Energy Technology Projects

Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that 66 cutting-edge research projects selected by the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) will receive a total of $130 million in funding through its “OPEN 2012” program.

The selected projects encompass 11 technology areas in 24 states and support an all-of-the-above approach to solving our nation’s most pressing energy challenges. Projects were selected through a merit-based process from thousands of concept papers and hundreds of full applications.

OPEN 2012 is ARPA-E’s second open call for projects aimed at advancing high-potential research into a variety of energy technologies. Today’s announcement brings ARPA-E’s total portfolio close to 285 projects for a total of approximately $770 million in awards.

To read more about ARPA-E’s transformational OPEN 2012 projects, click here.

Keystone Works: Making the connection between job seekers and business

Making the connection between job seekers and businesses is among Gov. Corbett’s highest priorities. Often, unemployed Pennsylvanians need skills training to be successful in the workplace, and businesses need access to motivated workers able to get the job done.

Keystone Works, a new program administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, delivers that training, provides that access and makes those connections.

Keystone Works helps businesses find skilled workers who meet their needs while limiting up-front risk and cost associated with training a new employee.  Keystone Works provides business-driven training opportunities for unemployed workers. When participants complete training, businesses are offered incentives to hire that trainee, but are under no obligation to offer employment to any trainee.

Participating Keystone Works businesses pay no compensation to the trainee. Trainees are prescreened by PA CareerLink® staff to meet the criteria outlined by the business in their training application and plan. Businesses have the opportunity to interview trainees to ensure they are an appropriate match. Training can be conducted for up to 24 hours per week for up to eight weeks, and trainees who complete the program receive up to 192 hours of training, enabling them to immediately be productive if hired.

Businesses who hire trainees out of the program are eligible to receive monetary incentives of $375 for every four consecutive work weeks the trainee is employed full-time, up to a total of $1,500 per trainee hired.

How Will I Benefit?

  • You will be matched with prescreened, qualified candidates to fill your open positions.
  • You determine the training plan that fits your businesses needs.
  • Participants complete training at your facility and can be productive immediately if you decide to hire them.
  • You pay nothing to participate – not even the additional premium cost, if applicable, of providing workers’ compensation insurance coverage for claimants during the training period.
  • You may receive up to $1,500 in cash incentives for hiring individuals who complete approved training.

Nearly every Pennsylvania business is eligible to participate.

For more information about the Keystone Works Program, visit