30A — April 27 - May 10, 2012 — Spring Preview — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal
P ennsylvania By Jon C. Scott, Greater Reading Economic Partnership
Greater Reading Economic Partnership launches workforce development campaign
mong the top com- petitive advantages a community can tout
ing Economic Partnership (GREP) has made working with our workforce develop- ment partners a priority. The recession has undoubt- edly shifted the workforce climate in the United States. Part of this shift is the increas- ing requirement for workers to have a greater degree of training and skills to both obtain a job and to make sustainable wages, according to Fred Dedrick, Executive Director, National Fund for Workforce Solutions . As these shifts continue, it is vital to have workforce development
programs in place to assist incumbent employees, dis- placed workers and future generations (i.e. middle and high school aged students) to obtain the necessary skills to be employable. The Greater Reading com- munity is very fortunate in terms of workforce training and readiness. We have two large career and technol- ogy schools; Berks Career & Technology Center (BCTC) and Reading Muhlenberg Career & Technology Center (RMCTC), as well as the Reading Area Communi-
ty College (RACC) Schmidt Technology and Training Cen- ter—all of which offer custom- izable training and retraining programs for companies or individuals on state of the art equipment. Additionally, our community has an extremely active, knowledgeable and talented Workforce Invest- ment Board. As the lead marketing or- ganization for the Greater Reading community, GREP has initiated a career and technology school campaign; “Careers in 2 Years.” This campaign is designed to tar-
get middle and high school aged students and their par- ents to consider career and technology school as a viable option for their future. Plus, they can work towards a well-paying, highly employ- able career in approximately two years. The campaign focuses on careers in weld- ing, mechatronics, carpentry, robotics, machining, CAD and drafting. In phase two of the campaign, it will include business, IT and healthcare training. The goal of this cam- paign is to increase awareness and get more people through a technical training pipeline so they are prepared to obtain existing, good-paying jobs in Greater Reading. It is important for every- one, particularly parents, to understand that attending a technical center in high school does not eliminate higher education. The recent Tech- nical Academy articulation agreement allowing students the opportunity to earn up to ten free credits through RACC, while attending BCTC or RMCTC, exemplifies the ability for these students to continue on to a higher educa- tion institution. Further, the skill sets and certifications earned fromBCTC or RMCTC make these students highly employable, specifically in the Greater Reading community. All of the advertising in the campaign points to Ca- reersin2Years.com. Since the launch of the campaign, the Careersin2Years.com page has continued to see a steady increase of traffic. The ulti- mate measurement will be an increase in applications and enrollment at BCTC, RACC, and RMCTC in the specific targeted areas. The Greater Reading com- munity and its citizens are poised for great things. We at Greater Reading Economic Partnership will continue to do everything in our power to facilitate economic growth in our community. For more information logon to Careersin2Years.com Jon C. Scott is president and CEO, Greater Reading Economic Partnership. n 1 Fred Dedrick, The National Fund for Workforce Solutions: The Impact and Challenged of its Workforce Partnership Model : Community Development Pub- lications: Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, 2012.
i s a read- ily available workforce , particularly a s k i l l e d workforce . A s k i l l e d workforce is also an in- credible eco-
nomic development driver in terms of retaining existing Greater Reading companies and attracting new ones. With this knowledge Greater Read-
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