College provides Workforce Training to meet Regional Needs
Workforce Development at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College provided thirty-two employer-driven training programs across the Southern Alleghenies during the 2016-2017 academic year. These trainings ranged from one day to seven-month sessions. According to Larry Brugh, Dean of Career Services and Workforce Development, this number includes trainings the College managed as a Workforce and Economic Development Network (WEDnetPA) partner.
During that period, the College facilitated WEDnetPA training valued at $257,965 for twenty-four companies in the region. WEDnetPA training focuses on targeted industry clusters in Pennsylvania:
- Advanced Materials and Diversified Manufacturing
- Agriculture and Food Production
- Bio-medical, Building, and Construction
- Business and Financial Services
- Healthcare, Information, and Communications Services
- Logistics and Transportation
- Lumber, Wood, and Paper
For the current 2017-2018 academic year, the College has a WEDnetPA allocation of $300,000 to support employee training for eligible companies.
Julie Davis, the College’s Workforce Education Manager, designs training programs in consultation with the employer to improve employee productivity and effectiveness. Recent trainings included a range of transferable or soft skills to highly technical skills. Industry experts lead trainings either on-site or at one of the College’s regional locations.
Stoystown Tank and Steel recently had training dealing with hazardous communication, confined space, welding, and electrical safety. Afterwards, Stoystown Tank and Steel Secretary/Treasurer, Claire Zufall, observed that the trainings helped make their manufacturing facility a safer place to work. Stoystown Tank and Steel has used the WEDnetPA program for a number of years.
“One of the College’s highest priorities is our work with business, industry, and workforce and economic development partners across the region. We work to identify and respond to their education and training needs,” stated Dr. Walter Asonevich, President of Penn Highlands Community College.
Both Workforce Development and Career Services staff meet with company reps to discuss the full range of employer training needs throughout the region. The College helps to determine eligibility for training funds, assistance with needs assessment, delivery of standard or customized training, and the recruitment of students or graduates for jobs and internships.
In addition to these services, regional employees seeking professional development or certification for personal benefit can do so through Continuing Education (non-credit) opportunities or the College’s credit-based academic programs.