Workforce Spotlight

Pennsylvania’s Work Ethic Scholarship Recipients Preparing to Take On Careers in the Skilled Trades

November 19, 2019

Workforce development and addressing the Commonwealth’s jobs skills gap continue to be a major focus for the business community.  As a cornerstone of the PA Chamber’s mission, our organization – through our Start the Conversation Here initiative – has been working to bridge the gap between Pennsylvania employers’ current and future employment needs and the skills of today’s workforce.  Pennsylvania’s diverse employment needs across a wide range of industries provide ample job opportunities. However, the state continues to have people without jobs and job opportunities without the people with the skills to fill them.  Despite the good paying, in-demand careers that the skilled trades provide, they still tend to get overlooked by students and their families. 

What’s WORKING at Pennsylvania College of Technology?

October 10, 2019

Tucked away in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania College of Technology is building a career-ready workforce.  As a special mission affiliate of Penn State, Penn College has advanced to become a nationally ranked, premier technical institution where a Penn College degree—combining a comprehensive education with hands-on experience using advanced technologies—is a considerable advantage in the world of work.  With a history of innovation and flexibility to meet emerging, real-world needs, the institution is positioned to attain even greater levels of success.

An Innovative Partnership: The High Companies, Thaddeus Stevens College Engaged in Unique Effort to Build PA’s 21st Century Workforce

July 29, 2019

One of the breakout sessions during the PA Chamber’s first-ever Innovation Summit in May featured a discussion by Thaddeus Stevens College President Dr. William Griscom, and High Companies CEO Mike Shirk, about their respective organizations’ unique partnership. The school and the corporation are working together to ensure that students graduate with the skills necessary to enter into promising careers — many of which are at the High Companies — that not only pay well, but have a clear path to future success.  This workforce-centric collaboration is helping to address Pennsylvania’s jobs skills gap while also ensuring that the talent and work ethic the Thaddeus Stevens College helps to instill is staying right here in the Commonwealth. 

Job’s for America’s Graduates

May 22, 2019 | Lori Renne

Our recent All Business podcast takes us back to school where we are talking to Dr. Ruth Patterson at Olney Charter High School in Philadelphia about their JAG program—Job’s for America’s Graduates.  Listen in and learn how this program is teaching students employability skills and increases their workforce opportunities, all while reducing poverty and unemployment.

How Military Veteran Partners is Generating More Veteran Employment Opportunities

April 29, 2019

Around 60 percent of veteran-owned businesses have experienced at least one financial shortfall, according to a recent report on veteran entrepreneurs. Beyond that, 75 percent of veteran entrepreneurs who were surveyed said that a lack of social capital — networks, mentors and other experts — was their biggest challenge to starting and growing their business.

The Challenge Program Inc.: Meeting Workforce and Education Needs in Allegheny County

February 13, 2019

Since 2010, national and regional studies have been ringing the bell about a shortage of skilled and qualified employees coming our way. The future is now here.

In Centre County, business and education are joining forces to resolve to address local workforce needs

January 10, 2019

With the goal of building a better local and regional workforce, the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County and the county’s educational leaders have joined forces to begin addressing the workforce needs of employers across industry sectors.

An inside look at Forbes Magazine No. 1 Trade School: Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics

November 19, 2018

Interview with PIA President CEO Suzanne Markel:
Congratulations on landing the Number One spot in Forbes’s “Top Trade School” List! What is the energy level at the school — and with your students — after receiving this honor?

Workforce and The C-Suite: Why Senior Leadership Needs To Be At The Helm

October 25, 2018

In a recent webinar presented by the PA Chamber Education Foundation; Joe Harford, founder and president of cyber security company Reclamere, provided an overview of why the c-level must be involved in workforce to compete and remain in business. 

'I feel like I hit the jackpot': Taking on the Workforce Crisis with TCP

August 28, 2018

The Challenge Program Inc. (TCP) partners with businesses that want to transform the scary part of career exploration for students into something enjoyable and beneficial. These businesses that come to the table play a vital role in not only helping their companies thrive, but in aiding the fight against the “workforce crisis.”

Nazareth Prep: Bridging the Education-to-Employment Skills Gap

August 23, 2018

High School Leverages Cross-Sector Partnerships to Train Students for 21st-Century Careers Recent reports from the Allegheny Conference on Community Development have examined an impending workforce shortfall and persistent skills gap that pose challenges to business growth in western Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh area high school Nazareth College and Career Prep is addressing these issues head-on through cross-sector partnerships that allow the school to equip its students with in-demand skills and connect them to future employers.

Millennials to Benefit from the Loss of Skilled Tradesmen

August 20, 2018

The recession, an aging workforce, and an increasing emphasis on high tech jobs have produced a shortage of skilled workers, particularly those in trades that require special training and certification. It is estimated that about 1 million skilled workers were fired or laid off during the recession, a number that still hasn’t been replaced. The National Electrical Contractors Association reports that approximately 10,000 electricians retire each year, with only an estimated 7,000 available to fill those positions - plumbers, carpenters, welders and other skilled trades face similar gaps, creating a potentially dangerous shortfall of qualified employees to replace workers who are retiring from skilled trade jobs.

Commonwealth Charter Academy Focused on Filling Workforce Needs

July 23, 2018

The All Business podcast welcomes Dr. Maurice Flurie, CEO of Commonwealth Charter Academy.  Commonwealth Charter Academy not only concentrates on fostering each students’ achievement, but also on the family – offering support and services so the family is integral to the learning environment! 

March2Success: The U.S. Army’s Free, No Obligation College Prep Course

June 20, 2018

There’s no doubt that students who graduate are more likely to be successful in life.  Yet, there aren’t a lot of free programs out there to help students prepare for a strong future —many test prep courses and materials cost a substantial amount of money.  That’s why the U.S. Army wants to extend their commitment to educational programs and benefits as a public service to allow for greater accessibility to a much larger population.  The U.S. Army wants to help create productive members of society by helping students in secondary school and beyond to achieve their careers in this country—and with no obligation to enlist in the Army. 

New Partnership Adds Horsepower to Education Marketing Services, Propels Firm Into a Bright Future

April 01, 2018

It’s a question at the heart of every business operation — what does the future hold? As much as hard work, a dedicated and well-trained staff and an ability to keep up with the latest laws and regulations is paramount to the success of a company, it’s also important that employers keep an eye on how their industry is evolving and plan for their future according to these changes.

A first look at second chances

January 16, 2018 | Lori Renne

Today I was inspired and motivated by second chances. I had the privilege of attending HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College's S.T.E.P. Academy graduation. The graduates were made up of a group of men and one woman who, in their past, maybe took a wrong turn, but were there now to make a right one. Who were ready to "step up" and make a better future for themselves and ready themselves with the tools they need to be successful in today's workforce.