At a Glance
Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center operates three adult education satellite campuses to support local companies as they look to hire a qualified workforce.
When local employers faced challenges in finding and hiring a qualified workforce, they reached out to Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center (GJCTC) for help. They asked GJCTC to develop training programs in their specific geographic area so that they would have a pipeline of qualified potential employees to recruit and hire. In response to this request, GJCTC has opened three adult education satellite campuses within the last 13 years.
Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center
|Campus||Program||Program Length||Year Opened|
|Monroeville||Practical Nursing||Career in a Year™ Program||2006|
|Bedford County||Welding||Career in a Year™ Program||2018|
|Somerset||Welding||Short-term, 200 hours||2018|
The satellite campuses located in Monroeville and Bedford offer full-time Career in a Year™ postsecondary programs. At the Monroeville campus, which opened in 2006, GJCTC offers the Practical Nursing program. The Bedford Campus, which opened in 2018, houses the welding program. The third satellite campus, located in Somerset and opened in 2018, offers a short-term 200 hour welding program.
Once they identified the need for a satellite program, the GJCTC administrative team and local employers collaborated to get each of the satellite campuses up and running as quickly as possible. The new satellite campuses required facilities and space. GJCTC worked with local employers to find campus locations that would meet the needs of students. Funding to support the start-up campuses and to assist with student tuition also proved challenging. GJCTC was awarded the Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Grant program to assist with the cost of tuition, equipment, and marketing for the welding programs. The following section provides additional details on the process to open each satellite campus.
Monroeville Campus, Practical Nursing Program
GJCTC implemented the Practical Nursing program at the Monroeville campus in response to a demand for practical nurses in the area. Grane Healthcare, which operates many long-term care facilities in the Pittsburgh area and hires licensed practical nurses, reached out to GJCTC about opening a local satellite campus to help develop a pipeline of qualified PNs.
To open a new campus, GJCTC first needed to conduct a feasibility study to document a high demand for licensed practical nurses in the area and to ensure a new satellite campus program would not compete with another successful school. Once the State Board of Nursing approved the feasibility study findings, GJCTC moved forward with finding a physical location for the satellite campus, a process which took several months. The new campus opened in a professional building and began offering classes in 2006, about a year after the feasibility study was completed.
Bedford Campus -Welding Program
GJCTC often heard from local welding manufacturers that they struggled to find skilled workers to hire. By 2017, the need for a more robust pipeline of qualified employees became so pressing that employers requested GJCTC’s assistance in addressing the issue. Bedford County in particular became the focal point for this challenge.
In November 2017, GJCTC hosted an OAC meeting to discuss possible solutions to the unmet demand for skilled welders. Meeting participants wanted to explore the possibility of opening a satellite campus in Bedford County, based on the satellite campus model already developed by GJCTC.
To move the satellite campus process forward, GJCTC first secured a location for the campus. Mission Critical Solutions, located in Bedford County, agreed to rent out space for the campus. The facility provides room for classroom space and eight booths on the shop floor.
GJCTC completed the accreditation process with PDE, working closely with its contact person to make sure the satellite program would meet the state requirements and those requirements specific to Title IV schools.
Once the Bedford welding program was approved, GJCTC focused on how to recruit instructors and students and how to provide financial assistance to students in need. In February 2018 and again in 2020, GJCTC was awarded the Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Grant. By July 2018, the first class enrolled in the welding program at the Bedford County satellite campus.
Moving forward, GJCTC administrators want to make the Bedford program self-sufficient so that it can be maintained once the manufacturing grant money runs out in June 2021.
Somerset Campus – Short-term Welding Program
GJCTC opened the started short-term welding program at its Somerset County satellite campus to help prepare potential employees for companies that had an immediate need for hires. It was a 5-week, 200-hour program that taught students the process of MIG welding. The program was funded through the Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Grant which GJCTC was awarded in February 2018. Courses at the satellite campus began in May of that year.
The program ran a total of nine classes and enrolled 46 students. It is no longer offered because the grant money to fund the program was exhausted.
For CTCs looking to open satellite campuses, Tricia Rummel, Supervisor of Adult Education at GJCTC, offers some advice. Collaborate closely with local employers because their support is key. They can assist in finding a site and provide leads on possible instructors. In addition, seek out multiple grant opportunities because funding is critical to sustain a program.
Since their opening, the three satellite campuses have served many students and prepared them for successful careers. Over 25 classes have graduated in the last 13 years from the Monroeville campus. In the last two years, 25 students have graduated from the Bedford campus, and 46 students have completed the short-term welding program offered at the Somerset Campus.
Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center
Tricia Rummel, Supervisor of Adult Education