The Career and Technology Center of Lackawanna County: Recruitment Strategy – Saturday Morning Animation and Networking Camps

Posted on Categories Engagement, Recruitment and Retention

At a Glance

The Career and Technology Center of Lackawanna County (CTCLC) worked in conjunction with the Lackawanna County Workforce Development Board to provide opportunities to educate students, who are the future workforce, and parents/guardians on local in-demand occupations and the career pathways associated with them. The first camp, which focused on welding, was extremely successful, so the decision was made to use the same process to expand into the art and technology programs.


The goal was to spark students’ curiosity at a younger age to take an interest in the Creative Communications cluster, which includes Print Production Technology, Illustration and Design, and Digital Communications, and the Technology programs, which include Computer Networking Infrastructure and Cybersecurity. These camps gave students a glimpse into some of the possible career opportunities that are available within those program areas all while having fun with hands-on activities.  

 The CTCLC and their partners on the Lackawanna County Workforce Development Board used the welding camp as a pilot to work out details and were hoping to receive funding to expand into other areas. The essential condition that made this project successful was a positive working relationship between the instructional staff, administrators, business office, and the local Workforce Development Board and CareerLink representatives, who are actively involved in thePerkins Stakeholders Committee, Local Advisory Committee, and Cooperative Education Occupational Advisory Committee. The committees have regular conversations on these types of projects with the goal that business and industry professionals will think about the CTCLC when they are looking for partners to collaborate with them when these types of opportunities become available. Who was involved in helping to implement the practice? How were they involved (specific roles)?

Instructional Staff, CTCLC (Illustration and Design, Digital Communications and Computer Networking and Infrastructure)

    • Developed the ideas.
    • Worked with the Continuing Education Coordinator to fill in the details of the proposal including a schedule, timeline, and budget.
    • Recruited current students to assist where appropriate.
    • Developed all curricula.
    • Created materials lists and requested quotes on all materials.
    • Delivered the 7th and 8th grade camps. 

Continuing Education Coordinator/Grant Writer, CTCLC

    • Captured the project to present to potential funding sources.
    • Presented general ideas to the local Workforce Development Board Executive Director
    • Worked with the Instructor and Administrative Director to complete a formal proposal for the local Workforce Development Board/County Commissioners
    • Presented the proposal to the Executive Director of the local Workforce Development Board as well as the CTCLC Joint Operating Committee for approval.
    • Received notification of award and collected appropriate signatures for implementation.
    • Leveraged resources within CTCLC – this was a coordinated effort.
      • Creative Communications Instructors created and produced flyers to promote the camp.
      • The Career Resource Coordinator organized a marketing campaign through social media and email campaigns targeting counselors at all sending schools, occupational advisory committee members, local advisory members, superintendents, teachers, contacts from the Executive Directors of the Workforce Development Board and CareerLink including the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Coordinator
      • Worked with the business office to procure all materials, track time and payment of instructional staff, and create, send, and receive payment for invoices.
      • Worked with Operations Manager and Maintenance Supervisor to assure access to the building.
    • Created an enrollment form.
    • Took enrollments via email and phone and tracked all interested parties. 
    • Scheduled all events.
    • Managed all details of the project and completed all necessary reporting to the appropriate parties.

Executive Director, Lackawanna County Workforce Development Board

    • Contacted the Continuing Education Coordinator for potential grant ideas.
    • Presented the details of the grant so that it could be determined if there was a potential to fund some of the project ideas.
    • Helped the Continuing Education Coordinator with the details and timeline of the project in order to facilitate the development of a proposal.
    • Incorporated CTCLC’s proposal into the grant
    • Worked with the Continuing Education Coordinator throughout the project to ensure delivery, administration, and reporting were properly carried out.
    • Supported the project by leveraging contacts to market the camp through an email campaign. 

Administrative Director of CTCLC

    • Used leverage as the Administrative Director to support the project from beginning to end.
    • Sought approval from the Joint Operating Committee
    • Contacted sending district Superintendents, Principals and local business and industry partners to promote the project.
    • Facilitated the use of building and building personnel as needed.
    • General support on a day-to-day basis.


  • What was the timeline for developing and then implementing the practice? 

The first  Welding Camp took place in the Summer of 2019. Then, the Networking Camp was planned for the fall of 2019. The Animation Camp was planned during the same period and delivered during the spring of 2020, however, it was never finished due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. . The program was offered again in the spring of 2022 and was an enormous success. The Networking Camp was offered again in the fall of 2022, and the Animation Camp for 2023. Funding has already been secured to run more camps over the next year and a half.

  • Were there any challenges when trying to implement the practice? If so, how were they addressed?

The general logistics were challenging, but the individuals who were committed to making the camps happen were able to successfully collaborate as a team. The challenges were solved by team members stepping up to the plate for each other and by being flexible.

  • How was the practice funded?

The grant was given to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s Business Education Partnership (BEP) to support the Commonwealth’s WIOA Combined State Plan.

  • Will the practice continue? If so, will any changes be made?

The practice was refunded this year by the same funding source, so the Welding camp will be run both this summer (2023) and next summer (2024). The Animation Camp just finished, and funding is secured for next spring (2024). 

Slight modifications to schedules were made after reviewing surveys completed by the students and parents who attended. Teacher preparation was a large part of the success of the program.


According to the student and parent/guardian survey results:

  • Students loved completing the hands-on projects.
  • Parents thought it was well organized and wanted to enroll again.
  • Both students and parents loved the instructors.
  • In general, the feedback was all positive. 

Several students brought their projects to their sending district board meeting to show them their accomplishments. Results of the survey were presented to the Workforce Development Board, who were very pleased, as they initially had concerns about supporting this project. It was also presented to the  Joint Operating Committee and at the Workforce Development Board Meeting. 

Suggestions and Tips for those who may want to implement the practice:

    • A good working relationship with internal and external team members is imperative.
    • Dedicate sufficient time for planning.
  • Invest in those team members who want to create and participate in these types of programs.



Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County

Colleen Stepanovich, Grant Administrator/Continuing Education Coordinator

Patrick McLane, Illustration and Design Instructor

Paul Georgetti, Digital Communications Instructor

John Moran, Computer Networking and Infrastructure Instructor

Kyle Linko, Supervisor of Career and Technical Education