Through Collaboration Workforce Solutions Helps Build Pathways to Employment
In a project that defines “collaboration” from beginning to end, the recent FIT4 Manufacturing training held in Elk County is a result of a regional partnership with Central and Southern Alleghenies Workforce Boards, who combined their efforts and pursued a highly competitive federal “Pathways to Employment” Grant opportunity. The combined Workforce Areas were awarded $500,000, and then contracted with Penn State and Penn College to develop curriculums in Manufacturing, Healthcare, HVAC, EMT, Welding, CNC and Mechanical Components. Workforce Solutions of North Central PA then collaborated with local Title I and Title II providers, the PA CareerLink® and the Community Education Center to create an Integrated Education and Training (IET) model as defined by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The first class was a three week introduction to manufacturing that combined adult basic education, workforce preparation, and hands-on machining at the St. Marys Area High School. Deemed highly successful and resulting in multiple employment opportunities for the participants, the FIT4 training set a standard for future classes across the north central region that will be driven by employer need and job seeker interest.