The Youth Network encompasses a spectrum of career education and exploratory programs for elementary and secondary students that are conducted on both group and individualized levels. Many provide the opportunity for worksite visitation and observation-- vital, demonstrative means for shaping impressionable minds, and steering individual futures.
Highly successful programs such as Industry Clubs and the Regional Career Educational Partnership (RCEP) are expanding across northwest Pennsylvania, exposing more and more students to high-demand careers in our region, and planting the seeds for a viable regional workforce in the future. Schools across the region participate in the Industry Club, and related TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) funded career advancement programs that are serving over 1,000 young people per year. Grants provided through the RCEP are enabling school districts and community organizations to implement career pathways curricula, and develop job shadowing and career exploration media.
Programs for Out of School Youth
In addition to career education programs targeted to students, the NWPA Workforce Investment Area participates in an array of services benefitting high school dropouts, youth aging out of foster care, and other young people in transition. Recent collaborations include a state pilot program focusing on research and asset mapping to reconnect these youth with education and employment opportunities.
Through Expanded Youth Employment (EYE) Programs, the WIA assists older youth in overcoming barriers to obtain long-term, self-sustaining employment in targeted industry clusters. The program provides a wage subsidy to employers who hire unemployed youth ages 18 to 21, encouraging the opportunity for long-term employment for these young people while reducing employer overhead and training costs.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education is at the forefront of national and state workforce development efforts. In our region, representatives from education, business, and industry have formed a 12 county NWPA STEM Network that is laying the foundation for technological literacy. WIA has been designated the fiscal agent, and teams have been formed to develop and execute a work plan that includes organizing a STEM Forum, promoting partner participation in the regional STEM Compact.
STEM is an economic and human development program to produce a scientifically and technically talented workforce. Partners are committed to promoting collaboration among education, business, and government to ensure technological competency, to strengthening regional educational programs, and sharing research, data, and information among partners.
Proudly Serving Northwest Pennsylvania
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