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United Way of Lancaster County


Tec Centro Workforce Network celebrates $8 million in state funding

Tec Centro (Source: SACA)

Local and state officials and nonprofit leaders gathered at Tec Centro West this week to celebrate the receipt of $8 million in state funding to expand the Tec Centro Workforce Network.

The funding comes via a line item in the 2023-24 state budget. It follows the provision of $5 million in 2022-23 the first such funding provided to the network; for the upcoming year, it is seeking $15 million.

The Tec Centro Workforce Network is a nonprofit headed by Carlos Graupera, the former CEO of the Spanish American Civic Association. SACA launched Tec Centro, its bilingual workforce training center, in 2014; it opened Tec Centro West, at the corner of High and Laurel streets, in 2021.

The network was formed to help nonprofits in other cities launch programs that follow the Tec Centro model. It includes Tec Centro Lebanon (aka the WEPA Empowerment Center) and Tec Centro Berks; soon to open is Tec Centro York, followed by Tec Centro Harrisburg.

The initiative has two complementary goals, Graupera said: To promote economic development in cities that need it, and to give breadwinners the skills they need to secure good jobs at family-sustaining wages. Tec Centro offers English as a Second Language classes and wraparound services, including job placement assistance. Its graduation rate for its workforce programs exceeds 80%, Director Maryln Barbosa said.