Career Readiness

College and Career Readiness
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Community College of Allegheny County’s West Hills Center hosted Manufacturing Day 2019 in October, opening its doors to high school students, parents, community members and local businesses. Manufacturing Day is celebrated internationally by inviting students to discover careers in manufacturing with the goal of inspiring the next generation of manufacturers.

Led by transition coordinator Jerry Pepe and counselor Scott Canty, high school students Evan Chuckiak, Danasia Dean, Nick Levenson, CJ Musta, and Ashley Roessler attended the event at CCAC. The group had the opportunity to take guided facility tours and participate in hands-on demonstrations featuring CCAC’s Mechatronics Technology, Plastics Manufacturing Technology and Welding Technology programs. The teens explored the educational opportunities that offer an edge in a competitive market and were able to talk with college and business leaders about manufacturing careers. Representatives from CCAC’s Workforce Development division were also present to show how the division can provide advanced training opportunities for companies.

One highlight of the event was the chance for students to watch a display of two virtual welders the school acquired through a grant from the Laurel Foundation. The VRTEX virtual reality welding simulators enabled users to practice skills in a safe and fun gaming-inspired environment. With vivid graphics and accurate sounds, the opportunity offered an encounter with realistic, hands-on welding.

CCAC Manufacturing Day
Carlynton students attended Manufacturing Day held at CCAC West Hills.

In a separate event, seniors Morgan Ault, Julianne Brookes, Maxine Luffer Beck, Hunter Burdzell, Jocelyn Burns, Anthony Devita, Brandon Jones, and Basem Majed participated in the Allegheny County-Wide Mentoring Day by traveling to the Hyatt Regency at the Pittsburgh International Airport.  The participants were exposed to various professions and employment opportunities that exist within the hotel industry, including guest relations, event planning, culinary services, and housekeeping.  In addition, the teens were able to participate in a few vocational tasks and actually made their own lunches with the chef at the hotel.

Hyatt Culinary
Students worked alongside the chef of the Hyatt Regency to make lunch.

In yet another career-readiness activity, over 20 Carlynton juniors and seniors are engaging in
Partner Up, a program series offered by PNC Bank, Allegheny Health Network, Peoples Gas, Comcast, Giant Eagle, and Matthews International. Employers of these companies visit Carlynton and offer quarterly seminars to juniors in financial literacy, power skills, and professional communication.

Following in a similar path, seniors will take part in a total of seven career-readiness sessions this year, all geared to preparing those who plan to join the workforce after graduating from high school. A spring session will include a mock interview and consultation process and will prepare individuals for actual interviews during a “super day” in May when human resource representatives from all six corporations will interview and potentially hire students on the spot for positions within a company.

This program has grown from three participating companies to six and has been offered to Carlynton juniors and seniors for the last three years with ample success.

Teachers and administrators are taking every measure to ensure that all students are on track for meaningful opportunities and success following graduation. The Career Education and Work Standards, Chapter 4 of Title 22, are part of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) regulations of required education for all students in the Commonwealth. Starting as early as kindergarten, children are being introduced to career exploration.  These regulations are setting the tone for career-readiness opportunities for all students, whether they plan to find a job after graduation or attend college to further their education for a future career.  




The following information was pulled from the PDE website regarding career-readiness:

By 2025, more than six in 10 Pennsylvania jobs will require some form of post-secondary education or training. In addition, the overwhelming majority of STEM jobs in Pennsylvania (91 percent) will require some form of post-secondary education and training.

Currently, 45 percent of Pennsylvanians hold these credentials, and a significant skills gap – especially for “middle skills” occupations requiring some post-secondary training but not a four-year degree – continues to persist for the commonwealth’s current and emerging workforce.

Pennsylvania’s economic future depends on having a well-educated and skilled workforce that is prepared to meet the current and projected demands of a global, knowledge-based 21st century economy.

Therefore, it is imperative that Pennsylvania students at all educational levels have access to high-quality academic and technical education, as well as opportunities to assess interests, build skills, and identify and explore careers aligned to those interests and skills.

Regardless of their post-secondary plans, all students should leave secondary education with a solid foundation in career education and work.

In 2006, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education promulgated regulations (22 Pa. Code Chapter 4) establishing the state Academic Standards for Career Education and Work (CEW standards) and making the standards required education for all students in Pennsylvania.



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