HARRISBURG, Pa., March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett was joined at the Lehigh Career & Technical Institute today by faculty and students to tour the facility and to announce an initiative with the Manufacturers Resource Center to create a regional student pipeline in Lehigh and Northampton counties. "Workforce development is crucial to provide employers with skilled, trained employees for the jobs of today," Corbett said today. "The 'Skill Up' initiative is one of a number of workforce development initiatives my administration supports to provide students with the skills and education necessary to support the regional manufacturing industry." The Department of Community and Economic Development provides grants through the Discovered in PA - Developed in PA (D2PA) program. D2PA, created by the Corbett administration, is designed to build capacity to better support Pennsylvania's businesses and to spur creativity and innovation through the allocation of economic development services. The Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC), located in Bethlehem, was awarded a $298,500 grant to create and invest in a regional student pipeline development initiative in Lehigh and Northampton Counties. The project, known as "Skill Up" the Student Pipeline to Support Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania, will be a collaborative effort involving the MRC, Da Vinci Science Center, Lehigh Career & Technical Institute (LCTI) and the Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board. Recognizing manufacturing's value to Pennsylvania's economy, Governor Corbett commissioned a private advisory council to identify and prioritize top issues that can help influence, sustain and advance that sector in the commonwealth. The Governor's Manufacturing Advisory Council report outlined 15 key recommendations, including the need for a highly skilled and educated workforce and the need to develop public/private partnerships.