ABOVE PHOTO: Representative from Carlisle Interconnect Technologies speaks with students during career fair. (Photo/ Montgomery County)
NORRISTOWN, PA – The Montgomery County Commerce Department announced recently that MontcoWorks, the County’s local workforce development board, has received funding to develop and strengthen the collaboration between high school educators, students, and local employers.
Along with the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit (MCIU), MontcoWorks will expand its Business Education Partnership with a new initiative to connect local high schools and their students with employers through job shadowing and industry tours in healthcare, construction and manufacturing.
“We are at a crucial crossroads in workforce development, both nationally and right here in Montgomery County,” said Jennifer Butler, Deputy Director of Workforce Development for the Montgomery County Commerce Department. “It is imperative that we take action now that guides our next generation of workers to Careers of Tomorrow.”
The Business Education Partnership has supported career development content for public and private schools throughout Montgomery County since 2016. Projects supported by the partnership have included in-person and virtual content for students in middle and high schools. With this additional grant funding, MCIU will facilitate industry tours and job shadowing activities for high school students in districts throughout Montgomery County, beginning this fall.
The end goal of this collaboration is to create a better understanding of each entities’ needs, while working together to create tool kits that businesses everywhere can utilize to offer more enriching work based learning experiences.
“With mass shortages in the labor force and high school students continuing to accrue astronomical amounts of student debt, it’s essential that educators and local employers collaborate. By working together, we can create sustainable career pathways for our students,” said Dan Chominski, MontcoWorks Now Program Administrator at MCIU.
The program is being funded by $118,107 in Business Education Partnership (BEP) grant funding through the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. BEP grants allow local workforce areas to develop innovative programming that aligns the education and workforce systems, meeting current and future labor demand.
For general information about MontcoWorks, visit: www.montcopa.org/1569/MontcoWorks. For more information about how MontcoWorks is focusing efforts on talent pipeline development, contact Jennifer Butler at: [email protected].