News about Workforce Development & Continuing Education

Dream Matches Real-World Need Addressed by Penn College

For a class assignment, 9-year-old Trevin Allen described his dream of working in plastics at SEKISUI SPI with his father, Lucas, a graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology. Trevin’s mature goals prompted an invitation from the college, where he experienced various facets of applied technology. From left are Shannon M. Munro, vice president for workforce development; Tom F. Gregory, associate vice president for instruction; and Trevin and Lucas Allen.

The dreams of many 9-year-olds transform them into adult superstars. What kid hasn’t dreamed of making the pivotal play to win the big game, belting out a tune to adoring fans or basking under the bright lights of Hollywood?

Trevin Allen.

No disrespect to athletes, rock stars and actors, but the fourth-grader’s dream – described for a class assignment – actually matches reality’s need: a need addressed by Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Trevin’s aspirations connect applied technology education to rewarding careers in the skilled workforce, which is grappling with a shortage of qualified professionals. His words are timely and impactful beyond his classroom at Bloomsburg Memorial Elementary School.

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Child’s Dream Matches Penn College’s Mission

A school assignment required 9-year-old Trevin Allen to write about his dream. Rather than being a famous athlete, musician or movie star, the youngster expressed a desire to work as a computer designer in the plastics industry for SEKISUI SPI, which employs his father, Lucas L., a 2001 Penn College graduate in building construction technology. Trevin’s “essay” sparked a visit to main campus, where he experienced CAD, the new makerspace and various plastics labs. Trevin’s wish for applied technology education – offered by the likes of Penn College – matches the needs of the workforce, which is grappling with a shortage of skilled professionals. Many Penn College students, especially plastics majors, have jobs lined up well before graduation. The college has a 96 percent graduate placement rate. Trevin’s word to describe his visit? “Cool!”

Penn College Course to Help Prepare Students for SATs

Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Pennsylvania College of Technology is offering a course to help high school students prepare for the standardized test used as an admissions tool by many institutions of higher learning.

The course will help students better prepare for success on the exam through live instruction, self-paced learning and individual interaction with a professional instructor. The focus will be on math, English and reading, with an optional writing session available for those who wish to practice their college-ready skills and review with a Penn College faculty member.

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Practical Nursing Information Session to Be Held in Potter County

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Outreach Practical Nursing Program, based in the Wellsboro Area School District, will host a free information session for those interested in nursing as a career.

The session will be at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, in the Potter County Education Council building, 5 Water St., Coudersport. A question-and-answer period will follow the presentation.

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Fall Course Targets Those Seeking Employment as Phlebotomists

A Clinical Phlebotomy course will be offered this fall in the Klump Academic Center on Pennsylvania College of Technology’s main campus.

The program – 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Sept. 18 to Oct. 23 – will provide instruction in how to collect blood samples using venipuncture and capillary puncture procedures.

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Attendees Add to Toolkit at Heavy-Gauge Thermoforming Workshop

Program manager Christopher J. Gagliano (left) conducts a laboratory session in the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center's Thermoforming Center of Excellence.

The Plastics Innovation & Resource Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently hosted 11 industry professionals from six states for its Ninth Annual National Hands-On Heavy-Gauge/Sheet-Fed Thermoforming Workshop.

The three-day program featured presentations from renowned experts and hands-on instruction in forming, trimming, assembly, techniques, materials, tooling, diagnostics, and machine maintenance and safety.

“The PIRC provides a unique opportunity to present both theory and practice in heavy-gauge thermoforming by allowing the participants to use their classroom instruction on a state-of-the-art former,” said keynoter James “Jay” M. Waddell, from Plastics Concepts & Innovations LLC. “Participants were able to use multiple forming techniques and learned how to adjust the equipment to achieve the best results.”

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Plastics Professionals Sharpen Skills at Penn College

The Ninth Annual National Hands-On Thin-Gauge/Roll-Fed Thermoforming Workshop at Penn College offered a mix of classroom and lab sessions for 33 participants, who learned from keynote instructor Mark Strachan, college faculty and staff, and guest speakers.

The latest training initiative offered by the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology advanced the skills of plastics professionals representing a dozen companies, eight states and Canada.

The Ninth Annual National Hands-On Thin-Gauge/Roll-Fed Thermoforming Workshop offered a mix of classroom and lab sessions for the 33 participants, who learned from keynote instructor Mark Strachan, Penn College faculty and staff, and guest speakers.

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Variety of Computer Courses Scheduled at Penn College

For those looking to sharpen their computer skills while learning something new, Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Pennsylvania College of Technology is offering a number of easy-to-learn computer courses this fall.

The courses are taught by qualified instructors in a relaxed computer-classroom environment, allowing participants to learn, experiment and ask questions. Courses are hands-on, with each participant working at a computer station.

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Plastics Professionals Converge on Penn College Campus

The 20th Annual Extrusion Seminar & Hands-On Workshop at Penn College’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center attracted a group of industry professionals representing 28 companies in 11 states and Kuwait.

Plastics industry professionals representing 28 companies, 11 states and Kuwait enhanced their knowledge at the 20th Annual Extrusion Seminar & Hands-On Workshop at Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center.

Forty participants attended the three-day session led by extrusion experts Chris Rauwendaal and Kirk M. Cantor. President of Rauwendaal Extrusion Engineering Inc. in Auburn, California, Rauwendaal has more than 40 years of industry experience. Cantor, a professor of plastics and polymer technology at Penn College, has taught extrusion for 30-plus years.

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Rotomolding Pros Share Perspective at Hands-On Workshop

Participants in the 10th annual Hands-On Rotational Molding and Advanced Materials Workshop take turns in Penn College’s polymer testing lab with Noah L. Martin (in checked shirt), of South Williamsport, a student and Plastics Innovation & Resource Center research assistant.

Marking a decade of intensive staff development for rotational-molding professionals, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center recently hosted more than two dozen employees in another of its renowned industry conferences.

A total of 27 people from 15 companies – representing eight states and Alberta, Canada – attended the 10th annual Hands-On Rotational Molding and Advanced Materials Workshop on the college’s main campus on May 22-23.

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Former Penn College Administrator Named Keystone President

Tracy L. Brundage addresses a Keystone College audience Wednesday after a streaming-video announcement of her selection as that institution's president.Tracy L. Brundage, whose service to higher education includes 10 years at Pennsylvania College of Technology, has been named as Keystone College’s 11th president. Wednesday afternoon’s announcement by John F. Pullo Sr., who chairs Keystone’s board of trustees, was the culmination of an extensive national search to fill the position to be vacated by the July departure of David L. Coppola. Brundage, selected from among 167 candidates, has served since August as Keystone’s provost and vice president of academic affairs. “I congratulate Tracy on being named president of Keystone College,” Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour said. “Tracy served with distinction in a variety of leadership roles here at Penn College, including vice president for workforce development and as a member of President’s Council. Her knowledge, skills, experience and commitment make her well-suited for this new role. I, along with the Penn College community, wish her all the best.” Brundage holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Gettysburg College; and a master’s in training and development and a doctorate in workforce education and development, both from Penn State University.

NSSC Accepts Award for Northwestern Training-Network Partner

Kenneth P. Hellberg Jr. (left), building performance specialist for Penn College’s National Sustainable Structures Center, accepts the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council Energy Star award from Jonathan Passe, residential branch chief for Energy Star.

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Council, whose Building Operator Certification program trains and certifies facilities operations and maintenance personnel to achieve cost-saving energy efficiency, has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy with a 2018 Energy Star Award of Excellence.

Kenneth P. Hellberg Jr., building performance specialist for Pennsylvania College of Technology’s National Sustainable Structures Center, traveled to Washington, D.C., on April 20 to accept the award on behalf of the nonprofit and its training network. NSSC is licensed to administer the BOC program in the mid-Atlantic region.

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Summit Successfully Apprises Industry of Apprenticeship Assistance

It's a "full house" in Penn's Inn for the summit, sponsored by Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Penn College.

A sold-out crowd of industry leaders and their advocates, representing 66 employers across Pennsylvania and from four other states, attended Thursday’s inaugural Apprenticeship Summit to address substantive progress in narrowing the skills gap in manufacturing. Attendees were welcomed by Pennsylvania College of Technology President Davie Jane Gilmour, who announced three major related developments: the eligibility of mechatronics apprentices to earn 20 credits toward a two-year Penn College degree in the field; establishment of The Apprenticeship Center on campus as a resource for collaborating with state and local partners; and a $576,000 grant from the state Department of Community & Economic Development to fund apprenticeships in mechatronics and computer numerical control occupations, as well as pre-apprenticeship programs for high school students. The keynote speaker was Robert I. Lerman, a professional economist, Urban Institute fellow and expert on apprenticeships whose resume includes a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Others on the dais included Lori Renne and Alex Halper, from the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry; Jim Nemeth, of Autoneum; and Eric Ramsay, representing the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. The afternoon session featured an interactive program among participants, designed to provide companies with a convenient opportunity to speak to those involved in all facets of apprenticeship.

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Required Testing Underway for Admission to Area Nursing Program

Is a rewarding career in nursing in your future? The Penn College at Wellsboro Practical Nursing Program is scheduling pre-admission testing for the January session.

All applications are due by Oct. 1 for that next class, and pre-admission testing must be completed before the application process begins.

The yearlong, full-time program – offered through Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Pennsylvania College of Technology – prepares graduates for career opportunities in area hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, personal-care facilities and human-service organizations.

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College Names Director of Workforce Development at Wellsboro

Jason P. Zielewicz

Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Pennsylvania College of Technology has appointed Jason P. Zielewicz as director, workforce development at Wellsboro.

Zielewicz served for the past three years as a client development specialist for WDCE. He will oversee continued expansion of programming offered in the Northern Tier and Wellsboro.

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Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University