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ABOUT CAREERS THAT WORK

Since 2013, the Central Susquehanna Valley has experienced a general upward trend in employment numbers – with an annual growth rate of close to one percent. Total employment in the region is expected to grow by at least 15% over the next 5-10 years. The need for new employees to fill growing vacancies in a variety of industries is expected to continue.

Replenishing Today’s Aging Workforce

Our area’s aging workforce will soon be leaving the employment pool, creating a need for at least 10,000 additional new employees to fill the coming vacancies. The situation creates real challenges for employers since the labor force participation rates in our region have consistently remained lower than rates throughout the rest of Pennsylvania. 

This, along with expanded automation and a rapidly evolving economy, requiring skilled and adaptable employees, indicates an urgent need to address the specific requirements of key and growing industries throughout our region. 

Challenges in Education and Workforce Preparedness

Schools have significant gaps in how to prepare today’s students for entering the  workforce. These gaps exist in three areas: early career preparation, workforce skills development, and establishing pathways to good jobs.

These shortcomings have been further complicated by the COVID-19 Pandemic. From late 2019 to present, public health restrictions have severely limited K-12 students in accessing workforce skills development and knowledge of career pathways – negatively impacting workforce needs throughout Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.

Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Careers

To address the concerns of developing a properly skilled and prepared local workforce, WVIA is partnering with the 1994 Charles B. Degenstein Foundation to produce a multi-faceted media and related curriculum initiative called Careers that Work that will focus on educating and preparing students for well-paying jobs that fulfill the employment needs of growing industries throughout our region.

Comprehensive Workforce Development

To combat shortcomings and equity gaps, our integrated effort will introduce students to the real-life application of skills found in the workplace, providing an understanding of careers opportunities, and their requisite pathways for empowered employment.   

This initiative will be a vital resource for teachers, students, counselors, and parents and will offer an ongoing process to address evolving skill sets and information that will focus on key industries due to their large share of our regional economy.

Digital Media and Integrated Curriculum Content

We are producing a series of short videos and supporting curriculum that will focus on grades 4th through 12th, fostering early awareness and education emphasizing PA Career  Readiness Standards and Career Pathways. The videos and curriculum will highlight and explore 14 specific high demand jobs in our region, focusing on career descriptions,  necessary workforce skills, career pathways, and salary.   

Videos will be hosted within the WVIA Education web portal and will also be available on WVIA social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Educational Outreach

A critical component of Careers That Work will be the creation of curriculum content for schools that not only addresses workforce skills development for grades 4th through 12th, but also offers career pathways education. This curriculum content will include lesson plans, activities, and evaluative materials, all aligned to the Pennsylvania Career Readiness standards.  

Drafter

Drafter

Architectural Technician Haley Kalvin-Gold takes us through the day in the life of a drafter

Drafter - Curriculum

Lesson 1 - Career Understanding

Lesson 2 - Application of Skills

Lesson 3 - Career Acquisition

Mechanic

Mechanic

Learn all about what a mechanic faces from day to day from Tylor Cochran of K-Tec Auto

Mechanic - Curriculum

Lesson 1 - Career Understanding

Lesson 2 - Application of Skills

Lesson 3 - Career Acquisition

Mason

Mason

Matthew Clark, Owner/Foreman of Clark & Fry Masonry, shares a day in the life of a mason

Mason - Curriculum

Lesson 1 - Career Understanding

Lesson 2 - Application of Skills

Lesson 3 - Career Acquisition

Soil Scientist

Soil Scientist

Learn the skills and training necessary to enter the career path of a soil scientist

Soil Scientist - Curriculum

Lesson 1 - Career Understanding

Lesson 2 - Application of Skills

Lesson 3 - Career Acquisition

Loan Officer

Loan Officer

Get a walkthrough a typical day in the life of a commercial lender.

Loan Officer - Curriculum

Lesson 1 - Career Understanding

Lesson 2 - Application of Skills

Lesson 3 - Career Acquisition

School Counselor

School Counselor

Justice Rooker, counselor at Cochran Primary School, walks us through a day on the job

School Counselor - Curriculum

Lesson 1 - Career Understanding

Lesson 2 - Application of Skills

Lesson 3 - Career Acquisition

What is a Counselor?

Dr. Brenda Zack, Lewisburg School District

Counselor Attributes

Dr. Brenda Zack, Lewisburg School District

Work / Life Balance

Dr. Brenda Zack, Lewisburg School District

Truck Driver

Truck Driver

Spend a day on the road with truck driver Sean Moon

Truck Driver - Curriculum

Resources

Lesson 1 - Career Understanding

Lesson 2 - Application of Skills

Lesson 3 - Career Acquisition


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