145 Pavilion Lane | Youngwood, PA 15697 | (724)755-2145 | info@westfaywib.org



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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.

“Experience Works!” Youth Work Experience Program and Career Readiness Program Proposals

The Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Development Board is soliciting proposals from qualified organizations for the “Experience Works!” Youth Work Experience program and Career Readiness Programs for youth aged 13-24 in Westmoreland and Fayette Counties.

The Request for Proposals can 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.

State Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak’s
visit to the Alle-Kiski CareerLink.

  Things were looking pretty rough for Darrel Diehl after he lost his job. Diehl, 61, an Army veteran from Cheswick, has a college degree and a history working in tech, but he said he was jobless when he went to CareerLink and working against a job market that didn't see him as an asset. “I was in my last month of unemployment, and it was getting kind of dicey. I'm obviously older, and you find out there is some age discrimination that goes on,” he said. “They said that they know what I'm up against.”  Diehl is one of the people who shared their stories Tuesday when state Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak visited CareerLink Alle-Kiski in New Kensington. Oleksiak said visiting New Kensington's CareerLink, a state program that helps people find work, gives him the chance to witness firsthand the progress he said the city is making toward revitalization.
“Every time I visit, I'm just more impressed with the stories I hear,” he said. “The partnership with Penn State and the Corner LaunchBox, it's great to see.”  Penn State's The Corner LaunchBox, which opened in December, is an entrepreneur training center and co-working space that anchors one end of the city's revitalization efforts, called the Corridor of Innovation.
Westmoreland County Community College, where CareerLink is located, anchors the other end of the corridor. The two programs will provide job training that will be useful for the city, Mayor Tom Guzzo said.  Training provided by places like the Corner and CareerLink will be especially important as the city takes over the Schreiber Industrial Park and develops it into a center for advanced manufacturing, according to Guzzo. “This is the perfect opportunity to partner with CareerLink,” Guzzo said. The reason is that the city hopes to channel as much energy into training as possible to ensure the skills needed for its planned manufacturing center are available when the time comes, he said.
“We have (The Corner), where innovative entrepreneurs will work on their ideas in an environment made just for them,” Guzzo said. “Once these ideas are formed and found to be workable, we will be able to manufacture those ideas right here in New Kensington. That's where we can partner with CareerLink to have them help us by matching people to needs.”
That's exactly what CareerLink does, according to Oleksiak. “We're getting people ready for the jobs of the future,” he said.
Penn State New Kensington Chancellor Kevin Snider said job training provided by CareerLink is an excellent match for the programs offered by The Corner. “We're focused on the future. One of the great things I love about our partnership with CareerLink is that they are focused on trying to help people's lives right now,” he said.
Diehl is one of those people. He is working full time now for a medical device manufacturer in O'Hara Township, a job that, according to him, he wouldn't have been able to find without the help of programs like CareerLink. “I just can't thank CareerLink enough,” he said.

Summer 2018 Career Awareness

The Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Development Board is announcing the Release of Funding to support Summer 2018 Career Awareness activities for middle-school students.  The program must include soft-skills and technical activities tied to local industries.  Local Education Agencies (LEA) are the only eligible applicant. Contact jward@westfaywib.org for grant application.  The deadline for submission is April 20, 2018.

Summer Work Experience 2018

Summer Work
Beginning NOW through June 2018, we are looking for applicants from the ages 16 to 18 years old to work with local profit and non-profit employers. This 2018 Experience Works Youth Application is available under the "Other Resource."

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.

Apprenticeship Readiness Program

Interested in a career in the Building Trades? Want to get a head-start on acceptance into one of 16 local trade unions? Visit the PA CareerLink Westmoreland County office and ask for Apprenticeship Readiness Program application! NEXT CLASS STARTS March 19, 2018 at Westmoreland County Community College’s Advance Technology Center! For more information see the flyer under the “Other Resources” TAB!

WIOA CareerSTEPS Program Helping Young Adults Succeed!  

One of the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funded programs through the Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board is CareerSTEPS which is provided by Westmoreland Casemanagement and Supports Inc.   The program is held at both the PA CareerLink® Fayette and Westmoreland Counties.

Isaiah Bean is one of the students from the CareerSTEPS program based at the PA CareerLink® Fayette County. He started the program on February 8, 2017. When Isaiah started the program he was in need of his GED as well as employment. Before entering the CareerSTEPS program Isaiah had a very difficult time in school. He was bullied and to cope with the bullying he turned to drugs and dropped out of school. He knew in the back of his mind that he needed an education to be successful.  

He stopped using drugs and enrolled in the Adult Education Classes that the Private Industry Council provides. Through the Adult Ed classes, he heard about the CareerSTEPS program and decided to enroll in the program to help him get further and become successful.  He began to attend classes on a regular basis, created a resume, attended all the workshops that was offered through CareerSTEPS which include CPR/First Aid and participated in a Mock Interview.

On March 7, 2017, Isaiah completed his GED and completed the CareerSTEPS program on March 27, 2017. On May 18, 2017, Isaiah attended a Career Fair that was being held at the PA CareerLink® Fayette County. During this time, he talked to employers and was finally contacted by Ohiopyle Prints. He was hired on as a full time employee and continues to improve his life every day

Accelerated manufacturing program benefits job-seekers, local companies

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.

2017 Williams Fay *West* Green Fluid Power Challenge!

Fluid Power Challenge
Over 100 middle-school aged Future Fluid Power Engineers were welcomed at the 2017 Williams Fluid Power Challenge Workshop Day on September 28, 2017!  

The Williams Fluid Power Challenge brings together 7th and 8th grade students from 16 school districts to Penn State Fayette for two full days of learning. Local engineers from Williams Laurel Mountain Midstream and Johnson-Matthey teach students the basics of pneumatics and hydraulics and then assist them with their building. Teams were introduced to a variety of tools and materials they can use from two kits to demonstrate movement by pneumatic and hydraulic power.  The challenge goal is to build a lift arm using pneumatics and hydraulics to move blocks from one space to another.  

Between the Workshop Day and the Challenge Day, students work at their schools to determine the best design for their project and create a portfolio of work.  Approximately 6 weeks later, on November 16th, the middle school teams will return for the Challenge Day to build their project as designed and then compete as one of the 29 teams participating in the Challenge.  As part of the competition, each team is evaluated by the mechanism, their design approach, a review of their portfolio and team work.  

The Fayette Chamber of Commerce and its Fayette Business
Education Partnership (FBEP) is proud to be the host the 4th annual The Williams Fluid Power Challenge.  As a FBEP co-chair and funding sponsor, the Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board is invested in supporting business and education partnerships. These are local businesses working with our schools to get students excited about careers in STEAM disciplines and learning about career opportunities in Fayette and Westmoreland County.

The following school districts from Fayette and Westmoreland Counties participating this year are:

Albert Gallatin School District
Belle Vernon School District
Brownsville School District
Connellsvile Area School District
Frazier School District
Laurel Highlands School District
Uniontown School District
St. Johns the Evangelist Regional Catholic School
Franklin Regional School District
Greater Latrobe School District
Hempfield School District
Mt. Pleasant School District
Norwin School District
Yough School District

TruFoodMfg receives PA Workforce Development Association Award at June 13, 2017 WDB meeting

Bill Thompson, Executive Director for the West-Fay WDB introduced Dan Stephenson, HR Director for TruFoodMfg.  TruFoodMfg was nominated by the Westmoreland-Fayette WDB  and was selected by the PA Workforce Development Association and the PA Department of L&I to receive the Governor’s Employer Award.  TruFoodMfg is a contract manufacturer of food products located in the RIDC Park east of Pittsburgh. TruFoodMfg recently placed four job candidates via its partnership with the PA CareerLink® Alle-Kiski and the OJT/VVI programs.  Each of these individuals earn more than $20 per hour, plus benefits.   TruFoodMfg actively participates in the OJT program at the Alle-Kiski CareerLink®, working closely with Rick O’Domes, PA CareerLink® Administrator and Jill Dickun, CareerLink® Account Representative.  

PICTURED ABOVE: Rick O’Domes - PA CareerLink Alle-Kiski Site Administrator, Dan Stephenson – HR Director of TruFoodMfg, Jill Dickun – PA CareerLink Alle-Kiski Account Representative, and Brian Edmiston – Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Westmoreland Fayette WDB

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Out-of-School (OSY) Youth Services Proposals

The Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Development Board is soliciting proposals from qualified organizations that will design innovative programming and comprehensive services that will result in young adults achieving academic, technical skills and employment success.  These funds will serve out-of-school youth/young adults (OSY) ages 16-24 years of age in Westmoreland and Fayette Counties.  The funding period for the innovative programs will be from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019, based on performance and future funding availability, and with an option to extend for up to one year .

The Request for Proposals can 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.