Both organizations have been providing manufacturing and business training in York, especially for dislocated workers and incumbent workers upgrading their job skills.
"Partnering will create a synergy between the two organizations, giving HACC the benefit of a technical center base of operations and the Skills Center the benefit of HACC's regional presence in the business community," said HACC President Dr. Edna V. Baehre.
"The combining of resources - especially with HACC's new York Center located just down the street from the Skills Center - makes perfect sense.
"We have long believed it is an advantage to this region to have a tech center affiliated with HACC," said Baehre.
Chuck Thomas, president, William F. Goodling Regional Advanced Skills Center, echoed Baehre's thoughts. "I look at this partnership as a regional advantage. Ninety percent of the Advanced Technology Centers throughout the United States that provide technical services and training and workforce development programs are affiliated with a community college.
"I believe the community will benefit not only from the local combination of resources, but from the ability to expand program development and leveraged training equipment purchases using the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Center (NCATC) process," said Thomas.
He explained that the NCATC leverages its collaboration and consortium to purchase equipment across states. Obtaining capital equipment in the process of developing new training programs is always difficult; this partnership will make it easier for both organizations.
The combination of the Skills Center's non-profit status and the educational status of HACC will be a stronger approach to satisfying the needs of the industrial community.
"Some of the training is paid by companies and some is paid by individuals, but much is covered by grants," explained Jim Fox, HACC dean of Workforce Development. "Because of the amount of contract training executed with business and industry, the new partnership also can be used as leverage to obtain grant funding."
Regional business and industry also will benefit by the enhancement of the high school programs presently at the Skills Center.
Approximately 80-100 high school students come to the Skills Center for training through the High School Internship Training (HIT) program. Students from all the districts in York County are eligible to come to the Skills Center in their senior year for training in areas including welding, machining, electronic maintenance technology, Auto-Cad, information technology, healthcare, and geospatial information systems.
"The program was designed to put students into the workforce upon graduation," said Thomas. "But it's also recognized that a percentage of these students decide to go on to post secondary education.
"One advantage is that our programs are being evaluated for college credit so in many cases, our students will receive credit for their coursework.
"Students coming to the Skills Center for healthcare training are getting credits. Our welding program is approved by state and national agencies, and there's no reason why students couldn't get credit for that," said Thomas. "We hope this partnership will lead to the expansion of some of our non-credit programs into credit programs."
Fox also pointed out the natural fit between the two organizations' geospatial programs. The Skills Center offers a Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) Technician Certification Program and specialized GIS training. HACC has the first Geospatial associate's degree program in Pennsylvania.
"We see this as a win-win for both organizations, a win for the community, and a win for the industrial base in the region," said Thomas.
Information may be obtained by accessing HACC's website (below) and the website of the William E. Goodling Regional Advanced Skills Center at www.advskills.org.