Wolf administration tours St. Marys High School

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration toured an Elk County school Tuesday to speak with students about STEM education. (WJAC)

Gov. Tom Wolf's administration toured an Elk County school Tuesday to speak with students about STEM education.

Department of Community and Economic Development Deputy Secretary for Business Financing Carol Kilko and Department of Labor & Industry Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani toured St. Marys Area High School.

The secretaries saw classes the school has to offer including robotics, metal working, the nurse's aid program and a smart lab.

"Our certified nurses aid program is students providing for the local medical community," said Superintendent Dr. Brian Toth. "Students out of high school who can work as a nurses aid. Maybe they do it as a full-time job or while they're going to college."

The visit is part of Gov. Wolf's Statewide Workforce, Education and Accountability Program (SWEAP).

Officials said SWEAP will expand access to early childhood education and increase investments in schools.

They said SWEAP will build on the success of last year's PAsmart initiative, which was a $30 million investment.

"This year the governor wants to increase that, he wants to build it to $40 million so that we can have advances in manufacture training and career and technical education," said Cipriani. "It will also build on the success we've had on our computer programs last year."

"I think that this is the best place to put that funding, in our kids in Pennsylvania," said Kilko. "It makes sure they have the skills that will help our businesses be stronger and be able to survive in the economy that we have."

Toth said St. Marys currently provides education that is partnered with business and impacts the economics of the community.

Toth said the district is working with Inventorspace, a nonprofit that sets up 21st century spaces for students to pursue STEM, art and entrepreneurship.

"As we look to build the school to the future, we want to have the support of Labor & Industry and the DCED in order to proceed with Inventorspace," said Toth. "We have a chance to have one of the first programs in the country."

Kilko and Cipriani also toured Penn Pallet in St. Marys and attended the 'What's So Cool About Manufacturing?' North Central awards ceremony at Ridgway High School.

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