At a Glance
Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center (SCCTC) , Bradford County CareerLink, and Trehab, a local community action agency, formed a partnership through the Workforce Investment Board Training Initiative to provide training to adults and summer youth programs to 16-24 year olds.
SCCTC has been involved in the Workforce Investment Board Training Initiative on a regular basis since 2014. For Dr. M. Alice Davis, Executive Director of SCCTC, the initiative represents an opportunity to “achieve a more educated vibrant community which will in turn provide guidance and support for the children in our community. We implemented the program to meet the ever increasing changing needs of the adult community.”
The Workforce Investment Board Training Initiative is funded through Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds. The local Workforce Development Board secures this federal funding and funnels it through to the local partners. In 2021, SCCTC provided more than $100,000 in training from funds secured from the Workforce Investment Board.
Each of the partner agencies involved in the initiative shares responsibility for meeting the needs of the individuals they serve in the community. SCCTC communicates with the other agencies to inform them of available training that might meet the needs of their clients. These agencies will refer their clients to SCCTC for education and training programs, such as those in Commercial Driver’s Licensing, Practical Nursing, and Cosmetology. In addition, the summer youth programs offered at SCCTC provide an opportunity for participants to develop valuable training and employment skills. The programs have focused on carpentry, plumbing, and electrical.
SCCTC refers its students to the partner agencies for further training, education and other essential services. Bradford County CareerLink and Trehab help individuals with a variety of needs, such as preparing for and securing a GED, creating a resume, and improving job-specific math skills. For example, Bradford County CareerLink offers WorkKeys to help individuals develop workplace skills. (WorkKeys is “a system of assessments and curriculum that build and measure essential workplace skills” that can affect job performance and career opportunities. See http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/workkeys-for-educators.html)
Dr. Davis credits the strong working relationship between SCCTC and the partner agencies for making the Workforce Investment Board Training Initiative a success. She notes that the challenges that emerged early on in the initiative, such as those related to individuals not following through on services or individuals running into obstacles that SCCTC was unaware of, have been addressed more effectively as the relationships between the partners strengthened. For other CTCs looking to develop relationships with partner agencies, Dr. Davis offers three suggestions.
- Form a strong working relationship with key stakeholders before implementing a plan or initiative. The participating agencies must be on the same page about short- and long-term goals, communication, and coordination of policies and services.
- Involve all stakeholders from the beginning. This allows them to have a voice in how the initiative will be implemented, establish what their goals are, and identify how they can best contribute to the initiative. It also secures their buy in.
- Communicate regularly and with transparency with partner agencies so that participants can address challenges as they arise and monitor progress on a regular basis. SCCTC, Bradford County CareerLink, and Trehab provide updates to each other on a monthly basis.
Dr. Davis believes the education, training and services provided through the Workforce Investment Board Training Initiative Partnership benefits individuals and the community as a whole. SCCTC and its partnership agencies plan to continue using the initiative to meet local needs through a coordinated and comprehensive approach.