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Summit takes renewed look at apprenticeships’ workforce edge

Keynoter Eric M. Seleznow

More than 100 industry officials, thought leaders and partners – representing 69 employers – attended Thursday’s second annual Apprenticeship Summit to discuss how best to close skills gaps, retain workers and attract new employees. The keynote speaker was Eric M. Seleznow, senior adviser with Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit that collaborates with national authorities on education, workforce development, business, technology, government and philanthropy. Other presenters at the summit, themed around “Best Practices in Apprenticeship,” included Joe Miller, senior human resources professional with First Quality Enterprises; Angela Hummel, talent development leader at Angela Hummel Consulting; and Eric M. Ramsay, director of the apprenticeship and training office for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Among the Penn College representatives on the agenda were President Davie Jane Gilmour; Shannon M. Munro, vice president for workforce development; and Christopher P. Ray, Workforce Development’s executive director for business development.  The day also featured workshops, networking opportunities, a showing of two recent college videos on apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, and lunch in CC Commons.

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General Information Workforce Development

Pre-apprenticeships: ‘Training for the job you don’t have’

Penn College offers a unique manufacturing pre-apprenticeship program for high school students through its Workforce Development department. “We structure the … program around an industry-recognized credential,” Christopher P. Ray, Workforce Development’s executive director for business development, says in a video on the college’s YouTube channel. “Our pre-apprenticeship program is designed to provide foundational topics in manufacturing. The manufacturing pre-apprenticeship can lead to a potential career in almost any manufacturing field.” Students complete the yearlong program through a combination of hands-on work, online study modules and visits to the state-of-the-art labs at the college. Ray is a guiding force behind the college’s second annual Apprenticeship Summit, scheduled from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday in the Bush Campus Center.

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Wide-ranging tour enlightens state Senate committee chairs

Haywood marvels at the breathing chest of a "patient" in the School of Nursing & Health Sciences, where Dean Sandra L. Richmond (left) explained the simulation aids available to nursing students.

A bipartisan group of state legislators, all present for President Davie Jane Gilmour’s budget request to the Senate Appropriations Committee in February, got a follow-up look at Penn College during a trip to main campus on Tuesday. Touring a number of instructional labs with Sen. Gene Yaw (chairman of the college’s board of directors), administrators, faculty and staff were Sen. Art Haywood (D-Cheltenham), minority chair of the Health and Human Services Committee; Sen. Thomas H. Killion (R-Middletown), who chairs the Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee; Sen. Daniel Laughlin (R-Erie), chair of the Game and Fisheries Committee; and Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia), minority chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee. Along for the visit were H. Fred Walker, director of Erie County Technical School; Kendall Alexander, Haywood’s communications director; and three members of Street’s staff: policy assistant Micah Mahjoubian, legislative aide Angel Betancourt and special assistant Kenneth Carter. Some members of the Senate contingent, who collectively represent highly populated areas from Erie in the northwest to Philadelphia in the southeast corner of the commonwealth, also enjoyed lunch in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.

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General Information Workforce Development

Apprenticeships allow employees to ‘earn while they learn’

Through Workforce Development, Penn College offers leading-edge registered apprenticeship programs for mechatronics technician, CNC precision machinist, industrial manufacturing technician and infrastructure maintenance technician. The college organizes and executes the programs for companies of all sizes, while incorporating state-of-the-art instruction – including streaming video between the college and employers at multiple off-campus locations. Under the program, featured on Penn College’s YouTube channel, apprentices can earn industry credentials, increased income, career advancement and credit toward Penn College degrees. “We have to start training our people to be more effective, more efficient, more productive,” says Eric Ramsay, director of the Apprenticeship and Training office in the state Department of Labor and Industry. If we want to make a better prodct, if we want to serve our customers better, we need more skilled, trained people.” Ramsay will be among the speakers at the college’s second annual Apprenticeship Summit, scheduled from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday in the Bush Campus Center.

Nursing Nursing & Health Sciences Penn College at Wellsboro President Students Workforce Development

Penn College dedicates Wellsboro instructional facility

Gathered during dedication ceremonies for the new Penn College at Wellsboro facility are (from left) Steven P. Johnson, president of UPMC Susquehanna; Davie Jane Gilmour, president of Pennsylvania College of Technology; state Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the Penn College Board of Directors; and Janie Hilfiger, president, UPMC Susquehanna Soldiers + Sailors and UPMC Cole.

WELLSBORO – A facility gifted to Pennsylvania College of Technology by UPMC Susquehanna is serving a new purpose as a site for instruction in practical nursing, medical assistant and other health care careers, as well as customized training for business and industry.

The 8,400-square-foot Penn College at Wellsboro facility, located at 22 Walnut St., was formally dedicated today in ceremonies that included members of the Penn College community, representatives of UPMC, elected officials and stakeholders, and others.

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Penn College profiled on ‘PMA Perspective’ on PCN

Penn College students featured on "PMA Perspective" are Alexa M. Korinchak, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major from Hellertown, working on the heavy-gauge thermoformer ...
Penn College students featured on “PMA Perspective” are Alexa M. Korinchak, a plastics and polymer engineering technology major from Hellertown, working on the heavy-gauge thermoformer …
... and Shujaa AlQahtani, of Saudi Arabia, a manufacturing engineering technology demonstrating the Genos M560 vertical machining center.
… and Shujaa AlQahtani, of Saudi Arabia, a manufacturing engineering technology demonstrating the Genos M560 vertical machining center.

The second of two episodes of “PMA Perspective” featuring Penn College aired Sunday morning on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.

David N. Taylor, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, and the “PMA Perspective” crew toured and filmed in the plastics and polymer engineering technology labs, led by Kirk M. Cantor, professor of plastics technology; in automated manufacturing/machining, guided by Richard K. Hendricks, instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing; and in rapid prototyping (3D printing), led by Eric K. Albert, associate professor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing.

Last week’s first episode featured an interview with Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour and a tour of the mechatronics lab. For that segment, Taylor interviewed Howard W. Troup, instructor of automated manufacturing/machine tool technology, and Christopher P. Ray, executive director, business development.

Both installments can be viewed on the “PMA Perspective” website.

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Companies’ generosity supports Penn College students

Commemorating an arrangement allowing Penn College students access to a high-end CNC machine are, from left, Elizabeth A. Biddle, director of corporate relations at Penn College; Suzette Snyder, director of human resources and talent acquisition for Lycoming Engines; Randy Ditch, president, Gosiger East Coast Region; Bill Wilson, key accounts manager, Gosiger Mid-Atlantic; Tyler McCoy, manufacturing engineering supervisor at Lycoming Engines and a Penn College alumnus; Richard K. Hendricks Jr., instructor of machine tool technology/automated manufacturing; and Gregg Shimp, vice president, integrated operations, Lycoming Engines.

An industry staple, computer numerical control machines are a common sight in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s automated manufacturing lab. Students operate the 17 CNC units daily to master the intricacies of using computer software to control the machines’ tools in shaping metal.

A recent addition to the CNC collection has changed the lab’s landscape. At 8 feet wide and 10 feet tall, the 18,000-pound unit towers above other instructional equipment in the 12,000-square-foot facility. The Genos M560 vertical machine center – built by the Okuma Corp. – makes quite the impression. More importantly, it offers students another valuable learning experience.

“It’s certainly a higher-end CNC unit,” said Richard K. Hendricks Jr., instructor and department head of automated manufacturing and machining. “It goes beyond the machines we typically have access to. If we were comparing it to a car, this would be like a Mercedes or BMW.”

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GOP policy committee takes eye-opening campus tour

Enjoying their exchange in the thermoforming lab with Bradley M. Webb, assistant dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies, are (from left) Pickett, Hahn, Diamond, Sankey, Wheeland and Oberlander.
Enjoying their exchange in the thermoforming lab with Bradley M. Webb, assistant dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies, are (from left) Pickett, Hahn, Diamond, Sankey, Wheeland and Oberlander.
In the welding lab, Pickett and Everett appreciate insights shared by David R. Cotner, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies.
In the welding lab, Pickett and Everett appreciate insights shared by David R. Cotner, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies.
President Davie Jane Gilmour (center) leads a brisk walk across campus, as "Spring Break" begins in name only.
President Davie Jane Gilmour (center) leads a brisk walk across campus, as “Spring Break” begins in name only.
Sandra L. Richmond (center), dean of nursing and health sciences, invites guests to identify the faculty member photographed in the college's first dental hygiene lab. (The answer? President Gilmour!)
Sandra L. Richmond (center), dean of nursing and health sciences, invites guests to identify the faculty member photographed in the college’s first dental hygiene lab. (The answer? President Gilmour!)
During lunch in the Thompson Professional Development Center, the group hears apprenticeship information from Shannon M. Munro, vice president for workforce development.
During lunch in the Thompson Professional Development Center, the group hears apprenticeship information from Shannon M. Munro, vice president for workforce development.

Members of the state House Majority Policy Committee were among the Friday visitors to main campus, delighting in an illuminating tour of select instructional labs and learning about Penn College’s role – both academically and through apprenticeships – in enhancing the commonwealth’s skilled labor pool. College administrators, joined by local Reps. Garth D. Everett and Jeff C. Wheeland, welcomed a contingent of Republican lawmakers who research and generate policy proposals aimed at improving the quality of life in The Keystone State: Chair Donna Oberlander, of Clarion; Russell H. Diamond, of Lebanon; Marcia M. Hahn, Wind Gap; Tina Pickett, of Towanda; and Tommy Sankey, of Clearfield. The group, joined by legislative staff and local media, toured instructional areas for nursing, dental hygiene, plastics and welding; learned about efforts toward workforce development; and traveled to Lycoming Engines, a mainstay of the local economy for whom the college’s Metal Trades Center is named.

Corporate Relations Faculty & Staff General Information Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies PIRC Plastics & Polymer Students Workforce Development

PPL grant to support Penn College Plastics Mobile Lab

Guided by Brennan B. Wodrig, program manager for Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center, fifth-graders visiting a recent Science Festival at the college examine a part produced by a tabletop rotational molder, which was funded by a PPL Foundation grant.

A $9,500 sustaining grant from PPL Foundation will allow Pennsylvania College of Technology to purchase instructional equipment for a Penn College Plastics Mobile Lab, a resource for educating groups about career opportunities and the ongoing demand for qualified workers in the plastics industry.

The PPL grant will fund the college’s purchase of tabletop rotational molder and thermoforming units for the mobile lab. The lab will offer a hands-on experience in various plastics operations for the participants, who will include students and educators attending events at area schools.

The Penn College Plastics Mobile Lab may also work in conjunction with SPE’s PlastiVan program, which travels to schools and companies throughout North America, educating people of all ages about plastics chemistry, history, processing, manufacturing, sustainability and applications.

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Corporate Relations Faculty & Staff Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies PIRC Plastics & Polymer Students Workforce Development

SEKISUI SPI strengthens bond with Penn College

Representatives of SEKISUI SPI hosted a thermoforming station for area elementary and middle school children during an annual Science Festival at Pennsylvania College of Technology, which was sponsored by Penn College, Lycoming College and the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce. From left are Lucas Allen, a 2001 Penn College graduate, William Kitchen, Joshua Andress and Kahla Manning.

A worldwide leader in thermoplastics has strengthened its bond with Pennsylvania College of Technology by committing additional funding for a scholarship benefiting students seeking a degree in plastics.

SEKISUI SPI recently contributed $14,000 to its namesake Student Workforce Development Scholarship at the college. Two first-year students enrolled in the plastics and polymer engineering technology baccalaureate major, who ranked in the top third of their high school graduating class and reside in Pennsylvania or Michigan, will each receive $7,000 scholarships.

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Faculty & Staff General Information Workforce Development

Workforce development grants awarded to Penn College

The tour group stops by the videoconferencing facilities in the Workforce Development Center ...
The tour group stops by the videoconferencing facilities in the Workforce Development Center …
... and visits with Bambi A. Hawkins, learning laboratory coordinator in the paramedic program.
… and visits with Bambi A. Hawkins, learning laboratory coordinator in the paramedic program.
Workforce Development personnel welcome officials from the state Department of Labor & Industry. From left are Bruce Jones, assistant regional director, PA CareerLink Lycoming County; Thomas Fry, industrial technology specialist; Shannon Munro, vice president for workforce development; Chris Ray, executive director, business development; Eric Ramsay, director of the state Apprenticeship and Training Office; Beth Bittenbender, director, operations/special projects; Gerry Pena, industrial technology specialist; and Jason Zielewicz, director, workforce development at Wellsboro.
Workforce Development personnel welcome officials from the state Department of Labor & Industry. From left are Bruce Jones, assistant regional director, PA CareerLink Lycoming County; Thomas Fry, industrial technology specialist; Shannon Munro, vice president for workforce development; Chris Ray, executive director, business development; Eric Ramsay, director of the state Apprenticeship and Training Office; Beth Bittenbender, director, operations/special projects; Gerry Pena, industrial technology specialist; and Jason Zielewicz, director, workforce development at Wellsboro.
Ramsay discusses the collaboration among government, industry and education in meeting regional workforce needs.
Ramsay discusses the collaboration among government, industry and education in meeting regional workforce needs.

Representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry announced the award of PAsmart grants for the north-central region of the state on Friday during a visit to Penn College’s Workforce Development Center. Eric Ramsay, director of L&I’s Apprenticeship and Training Office, revealed that nine grant applications totaling more than $850,000 were to be funded. Two of those applications, one for apprenticeships and another for pre-apprenticeship programs, were awarded to the college. PAsmart was launched last year with one of the goals to increase job training to prepare workers with skills that growing businesses need. Chris Ray, executive director in workforce development, spoke on behalf of the college, noting, “Programs expanded and created as a result of these grants will upskill workers in the vital sectors of advanced manufacturing and health care, while building an increased pool of future workers through pre-apprenticeship.” News of the grants was posted by Labor & Industry late Friday afternoon.

General Information Workforce Development

Penn College, DBi Services collaborate on new apprenticeship

DBi ServicesPennsylvania College of Technology and DBi Services have joined to produce the first Infrastructure Maintenance Technician registered apprenticeship program of its kind in the United States.

The multistate program will provide critical training and a professional career path for motivated people seeking careers in saving lives while protecting and enhancing the nation’s infrastructure.

DBi Services provides a full suite of quality infrastructure maintenance, operations and management services. It just celebrated its 40th year in business and continues to be a key leader in the industry.

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General Information Workforce Development

Microsoft Office 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 several easy-to-learn computer courses.

The Microsoft Office courses are taught by qualified instructors at a comfortable pace for all levels of adult learners. The classes are held 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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Faculty & Staff Workforce Development

Volunteer recognized by YWCA for passionate service to area food bank

Marianne E. DePasqua

Marianne E. DePasqua, client development specialist for Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Pennsylvania College of Technology, is among the eight newest inductees into the YWCA Northcentral Pennsylvania’s Women of Excellence program.

“Marianne lends her talent, heart and hands to improve the lives of families who are suffering the despair of limited or no access to reliable food sources,” said Shannon M. Munro, the college’s vice president for workforce development, in nominating her co-worker for the Class of 2018. “Because of her extensive social media network, she’s been able to bring a new level of awareness to the serious issue of hunger and to the programs available through the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.”

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State Senate Appropriations Committee chair tours campus

Always engaged and advocating for the college, Yaw (right) converses with Browne in the atrium of the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center.

State Sen. Patrick M. Browne, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, visited Pennsylvania College of Technology on Thursday.

Browne, who represents the 16th District – which includes Allentown and other municipalities within Lehigh County – came to campus after presenting an election and legislative update at a breakfast sponsored by the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.

He was invited by fellow Appropriations Committee member Sen. Gene Yaw, who also serves as chairman of the Penn College Board of Directors. Yaw also hosted the Chamber legislative update event, held at the Genetti Hotel in Williamsport.

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