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Reposted October 12, 2018
Business Education Grant:  Employer Engagement Activities Project

The Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Development Board is soliciting proposals from qualified organizations for the Business Education Partnership Grant:  Work and Learn Model Continuum, Employer Engagement.

The Request for Proposals can be viewed and downloaded at www.westfaywib.org on the Other Resources tab.  Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.  Equal Opportunity Program.

Grant Proposal Notice is available under the "Other Resource

NOTICE OF GRANT AVAILABILITY:
National Health Emergency Demonstration Grant to Address Opioid Crisis

The Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Development Board is soliciting proposals from qualified organizations for the National Health Emergency Demonstration Grant to Address Opioid Crisis.

The Request for Proposals can be viewed and downloaded at www.westfaywib.org on the Other Resources tab.  Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.  Equal Opportunity Program.

Grant Proposal Notice is available under the "Other Resource

Business Education Grant:  Employer Engagement Activities Project

The Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Development Board is soliciting proposals from qualified organizations for the Business Education Partnership Grant:  Work and Learn Model Continuum, Employer Engagement.

The Request for Proposals can be viewed and downloaded at www.westfaywib.org on the Other Resources tab.  Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.  Equal Opportunity Program.

Grant Proposal Notice is available under the "Other Resource."

Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board

Received grant to provide wages to local college interns employed in unpaid internships

Westmoreland & Fayette County: For many college interns, the days of their internship can be expected to consist of grabbing the coffee, making the copies, and transferring the calls. For several local college students, however, their internship experiences were quite different as a result of a Pennsylvania state grant.
The 2018 Pennsylvania State/Local Internship Program, or PA SLIP, Grant was distributed to the local Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board (West-Fay WIB) and other workforce development boards across the state of Pennsylvania. Funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the West-Fay WIB’s mission is to assist individuals in attaining essential skills for employment and help employers to become competitive in the growing, global economy.
With the PA SLIP Grant available to them, the West-Fay WIB started their search for 20 college participants by first reaching out to local colleges to build strong relationships with the students and their career advisors. Many students struggle to find a paid work experience that aligns closely with their intended major or career desires, and that is where this grant helps.
“The PA SLIP Grant provides wages to college students ages 18 to 24 who are completing internships at local businesses and organizations this summer that would normally be unpaid,” said Josie Manns, the Youth Programs Assistant at the West-Fay WIB. “As a college student myself, I understand the high desire to have an internship that provides valuable experience and is paid. It’s exciting to know that I can help my peers receive this opportunity.”
For Rachel Douds, a St. Vincent College student entering her fourth and final year of majoring in Finance and minoring in Mathematics, having an internship through the PA SLIP provides her with valuable and unique work experience. This summer, Douds works as the Finance and Accounting Assistant for the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program, “a leader in Latrobe’s community development that fosters downtown historic preservation, safety, sustainability, walkability, and business vitality through partnerships.”
“I like the experience I am getting,” Douds said. “Not only do I get real life experience in Finance, but I am getting taught so many layers of business that will be so beneficial for my future career.”
Douds works closely with Jarod Trunzo, the Executive Director of the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program, who acts as her mentor and supervisor. Despite working with a small nonprofit, Douds responsibilities include many elements that contribute to the functioning of the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program.
“I am in charge of general operating and running the finances of the business incubator,” said Douds. “Those two job duties are my main job. However, I also work with grants, the revitalization of Latrobe, and attend meetings on different projects we are working on.”
Like Douds, the other 19 college interns in the program are given an eight-week period to be paid for working fulltime for a local business or organization. During this period, the employers are encouraged to expose their intern(s) to the many sides of their business and real workforce challenges. The PA SLIP also provides a great chance for colleges students to be paid while they complete their required internship for college credit. With all these benefits for local college students, a big positive to mention is that this program operates all without any expense to the employers.
“Rachel had helped previously in our office, but we didn’t know what we were going to do going into this summer since we could not afford to have her here in the intensity she was capable of providing,” Jarod Trunzo said. “Had the funding not been available, she would not have worked here this summer and gain that real world, fulltime working experience.”
In addition to providing paid work experience, the Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board believes that providing additional work readiness and soft skills training is essential step to meeting the recruitment needs of local public and private businesses. The student participants took part in a tour and informative presentation of the PA CareerLink® Westmoreland, a one-stop system for employers and job seekers to enroll on a statewide website that offers access to thousands of jobs and provides soft skills workshops that are open to the public. The student interns were also required to complete various sessions through Smart Futures, a Pittsburgh-based non-profit software development organization in the field of education and workforce development. While completing their Smart Futures sessions, the students were able to evaluate their own soft skills and explore career opportunities available in Pennsylvania.
“Our top priority concerning the PA SLIP was to not only expose college students who will soon be entering the workforce to valuable work experience, but to show them that there are many great career opportunities in the area,” Janet Ward, Youth Programs Manager at the West-Fay WIB, said. “We would like to see more young adults stay in the area after graduating from college to fill the need for a younger population in the local labor market.”
The Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board had 20 successful internships occur through the 2018 Pennsylvania State/Local Internship Program. They are anticipating and hoping that funding for the program be distributed for next summer as well.
Provided that this grant is distributed next summer, the Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board is encouraging individuals such as local employers and college students to reach out early next spring. For any additional information, please visit the Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board website at http://www.westfaywib.org/. For more information on the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program, please visit https://www.latroberevitalization.org/.  

For information about this summer program, contact Josie Manns the Youth Programs Assistant at the Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board at 724-755-2145 or jmanns@westfaywib.org.

The Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board has defined its mission to be to lead the workforce development activities in the area's communities in order to help individuals attain the skills necessary for viable employment and to help employers become competitive in the global economy. This WIB wants to develop and maintain an organization to promote and further effective education and training for family-sustaining jobs for the people of Westmoreland and Fayette Counties. The Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment System will also be responsive to the needs of the community by building and enhancing the career development and workforce training system. Our WIB will work to affect change to allow federal funding to be channeled to the areas of greatest need. To develop and maintain an organization to promote and further effective education and training for family-sustaining jobs for the people of Fayette and Westmoreland counties.

PY 17-19 Multi-Year Workforce Plan under WIOA

The Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Development Board releases their PY 17-19 Multi-year Workforce Plan under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The Plan was approved by the PA Department of Labor and Industries. The Plan outlines the vision and goals of the workforce development system in the region.

The plan can be viewed on the “Other Resources” tab.

Accelerated manufacturing program benefits job-seekers, local companies

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Westmoreland County Community College is offering a manufacturing training program for the unemployed, underemployed and those who have barriers to employment and education.

The Micro-Credential Training Program is comprised of three primary skill disciplines; a nine-day pre-employment program that combines hands-on and classroom learning at the college’s Advanced Technology Center, welding, and machining. Students are prepared for entry-level positions in the manufacturing industry.

By completing the program, students attain a number of micro-credentials, which are certificates and competencies that students earn to build their knowledge, skills and experience and are desired by employers.

The program was made possible by a $470,000 grant from U.S. Department of Labor's Workforce Innovation Fund through the Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Development Board.

The college chose manufacturing as the focus because of a growing need in the area for skilled workers. One of the goals of the program is to not only help students attain jobs, but to help employers find qualified workers.
Partners in this grant include the Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Development Board and PA CareerLink. Students are recruited through PA CareerLink-Youngwood and the grant pays for all of the training.
 
The first group to complete the program consisted of five students, ages 19 to 38, who began their studies in May. All five completed the nine-day, pre-employment  program and earned credentials in OSHA safety, American Heart Association First-Aid/CPR, blueprint reading, shop math and AC/DC electrical among other skills.

From there, the students were placed in an introductory welding course for 40 hours and an introductory machining course for 40 hours.
Two of the students decided to pursue dual associates degrees in welding technology and machining at Westmoreland, while another went to work at a machine shop.

The second group consists of 13 students, ages 21 to 57.  Some were able to secure job interviews while they completed the program.

For the second group, the college doubled the hours to the welding course, enabling students to be eligible to take a certification test.  If a student passes, they are certified by the American Welding Society for 1G Open Root.

Recruiting for a third group of students will start soon.  Please inquire at PA CareerLink-Youngwood for more details on how to get started on this career training.

 
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