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Content Archives: Success Stories

Workforce Development and County Government: Partners Who Work for Progress

By Susan Snelick, PWDA Chair 
Roseann Cordelli, PWDA Director of GR & PR

A decade after the Great Recession, Pennsylvania is today in a state of ‘full employment,’ suggesting that those who are willing and able to work are employed, regardless of whether or not they are underemployed or have stopped looking for work. Still, there is a ubiquitous call among employers for right-skilled workers that has resonated across virtually every industry sector. From hard skills that include technology training to soft skills that include workplace etiquette, employers across the commonwealth and nation indicate they could sustain and expand their operations, but for adequate numbers of skilled employees, including incumbent workers. Read the rest of this article that appeared in the November issue of County News, the monthly magazine of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania.

 

Workforce development loses a friend, mentor, legend

Workforce development loses a friend, mentor, legend

Edward J. McCann, Jr.

If ever there was a success story that includes a well-regarded workforce protagonist with a lifetime of favorable influence that stretched from his hometown in Berks County to the halls of Congress and beyond, the story would surely be about Edward J. McCann, Jr., who led workforce development efforts in Berks County for four decades. Although McCann’s passing on August 30 leaves a striking absence among those who knew and respected him, his lasting impression is indelible and his legacy is unquestionable.

PWDA Award Winners Recognized

PWDA congratulates the 2018 Governor’s Employer and Governor’s Achievement Award winners, named jointly by PWDA and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry at PWDA’s Annual Conference. Governor’s Employer Award winners: GMS Mine Repair & Maintenance, nominated by Southwest Corner WDB; CJL Engineering, nominated by Southern Alleghenies WDB; and IMET Corporation, nominated by Bucks County WDB. Governor’s Achievement Award winners: Kenneth Rogers/Adult Category, nominated by West Central Job Partnership; and Cheyenne Davis/Youth Category, nominated by Southwest Corner WDB.

 

Pittsburgh company wins Governor’s Employer Award

TruFoodMfg is a contract manufacturer of food products, including granola, snack bars, chocolate, and nutrition bars. The company currently operates two high-speed manufacturing plants in RIDC Park East in the Pittsburgh metropolitan region. TruFoodMfg’s products are sold worldwide under a variety of brand names.

TruFoodMfg

 

Philadelphia woman wins ‘Outstanding Senior Community Service Employment Program Participant’ award

Philadelphia woman wins ‘Outstanding Senior Community Service Employment Program Participant’ award

Cynthia Steadman was living at a local shelter and struggled to make ends meet. In May 2015, that began to change when she enrolled in the Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on Aging (MCOA) Senior Community Service Employment Program. Cynthia was assigned to two MCOA host agencies to receive computer and customer service training. The MCOA recognized her other quality-of-life needs, and referred her to the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) and the local PA CareerLink® center for housing and additional employment assistance, respectively.

Cynthia Steadman

 

Hope Enterprises honored for empowering people with disabilities

Hope Enterprises honored for empowering people with disabilities

Hope Enterprises enhances the lives of people with developmental disabilities by recognizing their abilities and providing them with caring, responsive programs and services. Founded in 1952 by Dr. Max E. Miller and his wife, Leona, Hope Enterprises has been a front-runner in providing community services to people with developmental disabilities. The company’s involvement with the EARN program has yielded rewarding job opportunities that have ranged from janitorial and transportation, to job coaches and support aides.

Hope Enterprises

Ideal Concepts is honored for ideal hiring and employee development practices

Ideal Concepts is honored for ideal hiring and employee development practices

With growth comes a continuing need for additional new hires. Ideal Concepts has partnered with PA CareerLink® Lehigh Valley to post jobs and provide valuable On-the-Job Training (OJT) to eligible individuals. Since partnering with PA CareerLink® in 2015, the company participated in 25 OJT opportunities, resulting in a 72 percent retention rate for these employees.

Ideal Concepts

Morgan Corporation recognized for helping people go from welfare to work

Morgan Corporation recognized for helping people go from welfare to work

In the last year alone, the Morgan Corporation has hired five Berks County, PA EARN participants with entry-level wages of $12 per hour, and higher wages for those with experience. The Employment, Advancement and Retention Network (EARN) program addresses the needs of welfare clients with barriers to employment. Morgan Corporation is willing to give former employees an opportunity to be rehired, and to give ex-offenders a chance to be hired. Individuals with limited skills are able to start in an entry-level position and advance. EARN has several participants who have now moved into company leadership positions.

Morgan Corporation

TruFoodMfg awarded for outstanding workforce opportunities to wide range of employees

TruFoodMfg awarded for outstanding workforce opportunities to wide range of employees

TruFoodMfg hired over 70 participants from the Alle-Kiski Valley in 2016, and recently added 75 new workers with the opening of a third production facility in RIDC Park, bringing the total company employment complement to nearly 500 full-time, benefit-eligible positions. The company is currently involved in three key state employment programs, including On-the-Job Training (OJT), the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Veterans Value Initiative (VVI). TruFoodMfg recently placed four job candidates via its partnership with PA CareerLink® and the OJT/VVI programs. Each of these individuals earns more than $20 per hour, plus benefits.

TruFoodMfg

Award-winning Opportunity Construction, LLC gives hand up, fresh start to ex-offenders

Award-winning Opportunity Construction, LLC gives hand up, fresh start to ex-offenders

Carl Phinney, owner of Steelton-based Opportunity Construction, LLC, needed ready-trained workers in time for the start of a busy construction season. The company focuses on giving ex-offenders and those with barriers to employment a chance at a promising future through hard work. Beginning in January 2016, Opportunity Construction and the PA CareerLink® locations in south-central Pennsylvania developed a strategy to ramp up the company’s workforce in time for the highway construction season.

Opportunity Construction

PA Workforce Development Association