A second National Public Radio report to emerge from a national correspondent’s recent visit – a three-and-a-half-minute piece on women’s increasing accessibility to energy jobs – aired Friday on “All Things Considered.” Jeff Brady’s “Oil Companies Look to Fill Employment Gap With More Women” includes interviews with Stephanie M. Puckly, a welding and fabrication engineering technology major from Spartansburg; Claire E. Kerstetter, of Lock Haven, who completed short-term training at Penn College’s Energy Technology Education Center; and college President Davie Jane Gilmour. (The latter two are also featured in the story’s print version.)
News: Workforce Development & Continuing Education
A Bulgarian delegation, fresh from a conference in Houston, visited Penn College and regional gas-related sites on Friday to continue its discussion of shale-energy development in the United States. The group is meeting with key stakeholder voices on the workforce, economic, legislative and regulatory impacts of shale development, and included a college stopover in its firsthand assessment. Comprising the group were Delian Dobrev, chair of the Energy Committee in Parliament, former minister of energy and close contact of the prime minister; Zhecho Stankov, deputy minister of energy; Delian Dimitrov, member of the Board of Directors of Bulgartransgaz (gas system operator of Bulgaria); Nikolai Nikolov, Ministry of Energy; and American Embassy representatives Emily Taneva and Sally Behrhorst.
Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Outreach Practical Nursing Program, located in the Wellsboro Area School District, will host an information session for those interested in nursing as a career.
The session will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, June 22, in the former music room of the school district’s administration building.
European visitors’ recent first impression of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center will lead to a second look when they promote the facility to a continental conference next year.
The four international guests and their American host talked with employees and students in labs featuring each of the college’s five plastics processes (injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, rotational molding and thermoforming) during a March tour of the PIRC and its Thermoforming Center of Excellence.
The group also learned from Director C. Hank White about the PIRC’s role in helping the industry remain competitive.
Penn College’s vice president for workforce development testified in Washington, D.C., this week on behalf of improved education and training in energy and related industries. Tracy L. Brundage appeared Thursday before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, which is examining legislative language to create a 21st-century energy and manufacturing workforce. Referencing the success of the college’s award-winning ShaleNET partnership, which responded to the industry’s call for trained employees, Brundage said an educational infrastructure – built from a cross-section of public and private interests – is among the innovative solutions necessary to meet challenges. “ShaleNET is a best-practice model that can be deployed and implemented in other areas because the curriculum is competency-based, developed with input from industry, consistent, easily replicated and flexible dependent upon industry needs,” she said. “The success of ShaleNET is a direct result of strong partnerships with employers and trade associations, Workforce Investment Boards and One-Stops, economic development agencies such as the Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Conference on Community Development, and local governments who share a common desire to place qualified candidates with employers in family-sustaining careers.”
As an Autodesk Authorized Training Center and Authorized Certification Center, Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Pennsylvania College of Technology is taking part in a Certification Day on May 8.
Certification exams will be administered from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on various Autodesk products used in architecture, engineering and digital arts fields. Preregistration for the tests, to be given in the Center for Business & Workforce Development on Penn College’s main campus, is required by visiting online and selecting the college’s site code from the drop-down menu.
The excellence of the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center reached an international audience on Tuesday. Journalists representing plastics trade publications from India, France, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United States toured the PIRC and plastics labs at the college. Facilitated by the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, the visit promoted the desirability of central Pennsylvania for international companies with a stake in plastics. According to Sarah Thomas, a spokesperson for DCED, Greiner Packaging, one of Europe’s leading plastic packaging manufacturers, opened a plant in Pittston within the past year because of its proximity to the expertise at the PIRC. Hank White, director of the PIRC; Christopher J. Gagliano, PIRC program and technical service manager; Gary E. McQuay, PIRC engineering manager; Tracy L. Brundage, vice president for workforce development; and Timothy E. Weston, associate professor of plastics and polymer technology and department head, addressed the international contingent. Julia I. Gilchrist, of Hanover, and Jared W. Mahaffey, of Linden, both juniors in the plastics and polymer engineering technology major and PIRC research assistants, demonstrated equipment. The visitors were impressed to hear Weston report that all 12 plastics students scheduled to graduate in May have already obtained jobs.
Gov. Wolf Visits Energy Technology Education Center
In his first visit since taking office in January, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf toured the Energy Technology Education Center on Wednesday in support of postsecondary education that meets the needs of regional and statewide employers. “Our citizens must have access to the education and training that jobs require, particularly as we continue to grow our energy industry,” he said. “Reinvesting in programs (such as ShaleNET) will help prepare people for jobs that pay.” ETEC, a training site for current and prospective gas-industry employees and emergency response crews, is a collaboration among Penn College, Lycoming County and industry partners.
Penn College’s role in training workers for the natural gas industry is featured in a report that aired on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” (and affiliate stations) on Monday. Jeff Brady, a national correspondent for NPR who recently visited campus, talked with Tracy L. Brundage, vice president for workforce development at the college; onsite power generation student William N. Miller, of Hallstead; and others for a four-minute piece headlined, “In Pennsylvania, Employment Booms Amid Oil And Natural Gas Bust.”
The National Sustainable Structures Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology has added a groundbreaking chapter to its three-decade success story: It is the first in the commonwealth to offer accredited training in all four of the Home Energy Professional programs.
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council recently approved NSSC’s application for accreditation of its Quality Control Inspector and Crew Leader training programs, completing a credentialing sweep that began with endorsement of the Retrofit Installer Technician and Energy Auditor programs in the summer of 2013.
During a March 27 graduation ceremony at Penn College at Wellsboro, seven students were recognized for completion of the Administrative Medical Assistant Program and their preparation for employment in medical or dental offices, hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities.
Certificates were presented by Brenda G. Abplanalp, director of North Campus Outreach Services to: Monica M. Bodine and Angela M. Vandegrift, Wellsboro; Susan A. Breck, Coudersport; Justina A. Hill, Mansfield; Michelle R. McIntosh, Covington; Katie E. Reader, Blossburg; and Becky M. Thompson, Ulysses.
Penn College’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center is included in a five-minute video being shown this week at NPE: The International Plastics Showcase in Orlando, Fla. Portions of the video, presented by the state Department of Community & Economic Development and focused on the commonwealth’s plastics industry, were shot Feb. 10 on main campus. A number of Penn College plastics students and faculty, as well as PIRC representatives, are attending the conference/trade show.
The public is invited to an Open House at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s new location in Bradford County, where short-term training classes will be offered this spring.
The event will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, in Suite One of the Central Bradford Progress Authority Building, One Elizabeth Street in Towanda.
The public can learn to create stunning digital images when Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Pennsylvania College of Technology offers a 12-hour Adobe Photoshop course in April.
The Mastering Photoshop: Level I class, taught by industry expert Wayne R. Palmer, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays from April 2 to April 30; there will be no class on April 23. The cost of the course, to be held in the Center for Business & Workforce Development on the college’s main campus in Williamsport, is $260.
Forty employees from 18 regional companies are attending a weeklong Refresh Tech class, an interactive review of selected topics designed for multidisciplined maintenance technicians and offered by Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Penn College. Divided into two sessions of 20 students each, the class was quickly filled due to $500-per-person scholarships from a Central PA Works grant administered by the nine-county Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corp. The course – taught by Thomas W. Fry, industrial technology specialist – began with electrical basics and discussed a number of other essential concepts before moving to a consideration of newer applications from a troubleshooter’s perspective.