Workforce Spotlight

'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.”


During his senior year, Garrett Felgar went through a full interview process for a summer internship with Williams Energy (Williams sponsors TCP at Connellsville CTC and is a member of the PA Chamber of Business and Industry). With guidance from educators at Connellsville CTC and TCP, Williams Energy chose Garrett as the best fit for their company.


When talking about TCP Garrett says that “[TCP] brought the opportunity to me. That opportunity is now giving me a chance to start a career.” He says that he really likes the award categories because “everyone can fit into at least one or more categories so everyone has a fair chance.” This concept of fitting in does not always happen easily for high school students. TCP motivates them to believe they can become a part of something and then get rewarded for it. That’s a win for everyone involved.


Garrett speaks highly of the program when asked if he would recommend it to schools or businesses not involved saying, “Definitely.  It opens career paths. Now I have my foot in the door and experience behind me. Companies can now look at me and say at least he has experience. I feel like I hit the jackpot.”


Garrett is now a full-time employee for Williams and is just one example of the many possibilities TCP can give to students looking to build careers and stay in the area. Williams Energy is also an example of why employers are important to the process of closing the gap between businesses with open positions and the need for workers.


Over two dozen students from participating schools have gained employment with their business partners through the connection started by TCP. That’s over two dozen jobs where businesses worked with the students hands-on who they could later hire or filled a position that would have taken months of searching. The types of businesses involved in the Program range from credit unions to industry to healthcare but it all starts with their willingness to see what Williams Energy and Garrett saw in the program when he said he felt like he hit the jackpot. TCP is ready to take on the workforce crisis, are you?

 Melanie Muha, Marketing Assistant, The Challenge Program, Inc.

 For more information on The Challenge Program, visit


Tune into the PA Chamber’s All Business podcast to hear about The Challenge Program's crucial role in developing Business/Education partnerships while introducing students to careers in their communities and building the necessary employability skills. The All Business podcast welcomes Barbara Grandinetti, President of The Challenge Program, Inc., and Myra Bernhart, Workforce Development Manager of The Challenge Program, Inc.


Or listen to to our All Business podcast featuring The Challenge Program, Inc. on your computer by clicking here.