Bizzarro: Gannon receives $100,000 to create digital literacy program

Grant will help fund Virtual Reality integration into education

ERIE, June 14 – Gannon University is receiving a $100,000 grant from the state to help fund its initiative to integrate Virtual Reality (VR) into its manufacturing education courses, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro announced Friday.

The grant money, designated by the Department of Labor & Industry to fund digital literacy programs across the state, will help the university provide new, hands-on technology that will help students gain the training and necessary skills to thrive in the manufacturing sector. Gannon said the project will target young adults, veterans transitioning into civilian employment and established workers in need of expanding their skills.

“There is so much technology that’s emerging and evolving every day, so it’s important to take advantage of how it can help. The integration of VR into courses at Gannon will help set these students up for success in the classroom and eventually in the workforce,” said Bizzarro.” “I applaud my alma mater for taking a new, invigorating approach to education and prioritizing students.”

A total of $4.9 million was awarded to 50 organizations across the state to fund digital literacy programs across the state. The goal of the program is to improve digital literacy among job seekers so they can be successful in finding, obtaining, and maintaining employment.

Today’s announcement continues Bizzarro’s efforts to allocate state money to properly fund Erie schools, workforce development, nonprofits, first responders, public works, utilities and local businesses in his district and Erie County. Bizzarro and his team have helped secure more than $59.4 million for Erie projects during the 2023-24 legislative session.