Workforce Spotlight

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.

U.S. Chamber: Workforce is Key to Nation’s Economic Growth

November 21, 2017

“We need to create jobs!” This rally cry may be the most commonly-used phrase of elected officials and business leaders in the decade since the Great Recession, and it’s finally earned some vacation time. With the economy close to full employment, perhaps it’s time to shift our focus to the hard part: creating workers.

Their Time to Shine: The mikeroweWORKS Foundation’s Work Ethic Scholarship Recipients Head into a Bright Future With the Support of PA Chamber

November 21, 2017

Last year, the PA Chamber Educational Foundation commissioned a study about the struggles facing Pennsylvania employers in terms of the quality of their workforce and the job candidates pool. The results showed what we’d long heard anecdotally — business owners in a position to hire were having a difficult time finding qualified job candidates with the skills necessary to fill these roles. We knew that closing this jobs skills gap wasn’t a problem that the business community could handle singularly, and that bringing attention to it meant doing something big. In this case, ‘big’ meant hosting a Workforce Summit last year that featured Executive Producer and Show Host Mike Rowe, best known as “the dirtiest man on TV” from the hit TV series Dirty Jobs, as the keynote speaker.

An Ally to Industry in Bridging the Skills Gap

November 21, 2017

The skills gap is a multifaceted issue and a growing threat to employers’ competitiveness and financial well-being. The U.S. Department of Labor emphasizes that more jobs are open now — 6.2 million in June — than at any time since it began tracking this data in 2000.

A Green Light to a Second Chance: Uber, Lawmakers Work to Help Individuals with Criminal Records Earn Gainful Employment

November 21, 2017

Pennsylvania has a business problem. Tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians with a criminal conviction are being prevented from access to housing, education and, most importantly, work opportunities. And the cost is enormous. According to 2015 statistics from Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, connecting just 100 formerly convicted Pennsylvanians with jobs produces $55 million in earnings and yields $1.9 million in wage tax contributions over their lifetimes.