AT A GLANCE
With grant funding available for the 2015-2016 school year, the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (TRWIB) supported A.W. Beattie Career and Technical Center’s Career Preparation for Success program.
The Career Preparation for Success program aimed to expand high school students’ college and career readiness through three initiatives: increase students’ attainment of industry-recognized credentials, engage more students in work-based learning experiences, and expand the number of students completing a dual enrollment class offered through the Community College of Allegheny County.
Results included the following:
One hundred fifteen students earned an industry-recognized credential and 19 students earned multiple credentials. This represents an approximate 30 percent increase from prior years.
Eleven students participated in internships at five different local employers, representing an approximate 50 percent increase. Notably, four of these internships were as IT technicians. Grant funding allowed students to receive a stipend for their work.
Through dual enrollment, 35 students completed a three-credit introductory medical terminology course through the Community College of Allegheny County. As a result of the grants funding, students did not incur any costs for this course.
With grant funding secured for the 2015-2016 school year, the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (TRWIB) reached out to six career and technical centers asking how TRWIB could better serve students through secondary, postsecondary, and business collaboration. The schools were invited to submit a proposal; A.W. Beattie Career Center applied for and received funding to support the Career Preparation for Success program which focused on four industry clusters projected to grow in Allegheny County and that provide jobs at family sustaining wages: Health Science Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Auto Technology, and Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC).
To enable more students to earn industry-recognized credentials, all costs were paid through grant funds. This allowed many students to earn credentials they otherwise could not afford. The most commonly earned credentials were Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 608 Technician Certification (35), OSHA 10-Hour Card (29), a Microsoft Technology Associate certification (13), Pennsylvania Nurse Aid Certification (11), and I-CAR (10).
The school’s internship program was expanded as a result of the grant, primarily in the IT field where high school students are typically not invited to intern due to companies’ concerns over network security. In addition, existing relationships were strengthened, and grant funds ensured that all internships were paid either in full or through an employer match agreement. Most internships took place after school hours; the number of hours worked and the stipend was agreed upon by the school and employer. The experience gained during an internship is invaluable for students, and these opportunities would not have been possible without this funding.
Through grant funding, a three-credit medical terminology course was offered at A.W. Beattie Career Center through the Community College of Allegheny County. Taught by an A.W. Beattie Career Center teacher, curriculum was provided by the community college. All students who participated successfully completed the course. Tuition was fully covered by the grant allowing students the opportunity to enroll in the community college, experience college-level work, and have a college transcript.
TRWIB’s funding for the Career Preparation for Success initiatives ended at the conclusion of the school year. However, due to its positive impact, A.W. Beattie Career Center has reallocated other funding streams to support the continuation of these initiatives. For example, the dual-enrollment course and credentials are now partially funded so that students pay a reduced rate.
TRWIB continues its efforts to build a stronger relationship with the region’s career and technical centers and reported that this funding was beneficial in doing so. Moving forward, these initiatives and others that expand opportunities for youth are achievable but only if funding is available.
Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board
Susie Puskar, Director of Youth Innovation
Centre City Tower, Suite 2600
650 Smithfield Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
A.W. Beattie Career Center
Sandy Niggel, Assistant Director for Curriculum and Instruction
9600 Babcock Boulevard
Allison Park, PA 15101