National partnership targets high-demand careers, workforce training in region
Sept. 2, 2008
HARRISBURG, PA – HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College is participating in a national benchmark study aimed at improving educational resources and training to meet the workforce development needs in the region.
The study, Adult Career Pathways (ACP) Manufacturing and Logistics Benchmark Study, is part of a national pilot program spearheaded by The Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD) and the Clements Group. CORD is a national nonprofit in Waco, Texas, providing innovative change in education to prepare students for greater success in careers and higher education. The Utah-based Clements Group is a resource development and institutional advancement consulting firm that specializes in helping community colleges, technical institutes and K-12s.
HACC, the region’s premier leader in workforce development, is among seven community colleges across the nation doing the benchmark study as an initial step to participating in a pilot program, “Adult Career Pathways: A Second Chance at Education,” which is designed to identify, enroll, educate, and prepare underemployed adults for high-demand career opportunities with local industries.
“HACC was selected for participation (in the study) because of its reputation among community colleges as being especially concerned with workforce and economic development issues,” said Dr. Richard C. Hinckley, CORD president.
In addition, Hinckley said HACC President Dr. Edna V. Baehre’s “demonstrated leadership in seeking solutions to the educational needs of young adults and workforce needs in the community” of Central Pennsylvania was a critical factor.
“An important component of HACC’s mission is to provide a qualified labor pool to meet the region’s ever-evolving economic development needs,” said Baehre. “HACC keeps abreast of the trends in business and industry in order to assure that the college provides the necessary programs and resources critical to the region’s economic health.”
Participating in the pilot project is “another step in accomplishing our mission of providing well educated and prepared graduates with the skills to compete in the workforce,” she added.
Next month, HACC is hosting a regional summit of manufacturing leaders at the college’s Midtown site in Harrisburg to identify areas that need strengthening, what additional resources are required and partnering opportunities to foster growth, Baehre said. The summit will review current trends in the manufacturing industry, employment climate, new employee expectations and employee productivity.
According to the Clements Group, studies conducted across the country by the consulting firm consistently find that the lack of a skilled workforce is a major challenge in virtually every industry in every state. For many industries, the associate degree or approved technical certificate is the minimum qualification for employment. In industries such as manufacturing, the need has reached crisis proportions.
In order to participate in the Adult Career Pathway pilot program, each community college participant must have the instructional expertise, facilities and resources essential to developing an appropriate response to defined industry workforce needs. HACC staff, with assistance from CORD and the Clements Group, will complete an online survey to document the status and effectiveness of key college services including student support services, career services, developmental education offerings, the curriculum development process, partnerships with community organizations, and resource development capabilities. The process will also document manufacturing and logistics assessment; and certificate, degree and training programs.
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, was established Feb. 14, 1964, as Harrisburg Area Community College. Since that time, HACC has been dedicated to the community and to the individual. The college’s devotion to the community arises from its mission to foster educational, cultural, workforce development and economic growth of HACC’s regional service area by giving each individual student the tools and environment to succeed. HACC offers nearly 200 associate and transfer degrees and certificate and diploma programs at campuses in Harrisburg, Gettysburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York. In addition, HACC offers a wide variety of courses, including degree and certificate programs, through its Virtual Campus.
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