Sept. 16, 1999
A "Tech Prep" grant in the amount of $366,480 has been awarded to the Harrisburg Area Community College from the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Bureau of Vocational-Technical Education. With funds from the grant, HACC joins in a cooperative effort with vocational-technical schools in the southcentral region of Pennsylvania-the South Central Tech Prep Consortium-to develop career and academic pathways for high school students who are making a transition to college. Tech Prep is used to define the type of curriculum students follow to begin technical training and earn college credits while in high school, then qualify for employment after graduation or continue on to college to study additional skills.

The schools involved in the tech prep effort include the Adams County Tech Prep Consortium, Carlisle School District's Center for Careers and Technology, Cumberland-Perry Area Vocational-Technical School, Dauphin County Technical School, Lebanon County Technical Center, and York County Area Vocational-Technical School.

HACC and the South Central Tech Prep Consortium will plan, develop, and implement programs in computer information technology, computer networking technology, computer maintenance/repair technology, diesel engine mechanics, electrical technology, electronics technology, and machinist/machine technology. Each of these programs will be aligned with industry standards and/or certifications, including Microsoft certifications. Types of jobs graduates would be qualified for include computer networking specialists, software/hardware installation technicians, metalworkers, precision tool and dye workers, computer numerical control (CNC) operators, and others.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is expected that the need for computer specialists will grow by 1.3 million new jobs in the next seven years. In Pennsylvania alone, there are eight to ten thousand technical positions currently open. Providing high-level, technical skills training for students in this region, who are moving into the workforce or post-secondary education now, will help respond to the region's workforce needs.

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