Workforce Spotlight

A first look at second chances

January 16, 2018

By 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.

S.T.E.P. stands for; set goals, take action, expect success and put in the work. As I listened, I heard speakers and teachers use phrases like:

"Your character is revealed through times of real challenge."

"Don't let the things that happened to you dictate where you are going."

"Be intentional."

"Continue to educate yourself."

"Be where your feet are."

Words that inspirited not only those ready to make a new path for themselves, but those of us sitting there witnessing their achievements. These graduates are now prepared with the tools and essential skills they need to perform today's jobs. Communication, teamwork and collaboration, adaptability, problem solving, critical observation and conflict resolution. All the essentials any employer wants on their team and for their organization.

I was honored to meet each one of the graduates and would be even more honored to work with any of them. Kudos to my friend Victor Rodgers and his team at HACC for this innovative program and for Starting the Conversation HERE - in Central PA - and providing a ready workforce for today's employers.