Frackville, PA – Department of Labor & Industry Deputy Secretary Eileen Cipriani today visited the Schuylkill Technology Center in Frackville and was joined by Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) officials to view the school’s co-op program at PennDOT’s Schuylkill County Maintenance Office in Schuylkill Haven. The tour highlighted Gov. Tom Wolf’s PAsmart proposal to prepare students with the education they need to obtain good, middle-class jobs and to demonstrate how the school works with local employers to ensure students have the skills they need to succeed in the job market.
“Investing in career and technical education at schools like Schuylkill Technology Center ensures that our workers and students get the real-world skills they need for in-demand, 21st century jobs,” said Cipriani. “It is our goal that by 2025, 60 percent of Pennsylvanians will have some form of postsecondary education and training. Governor Wolf has proposed historic new investments to improve access for Pennsylvania students and workers to education, training, and career readiness programs.”
With employers expanding in Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf has made education and job training a top priority for his administration. In his 2018-19 budget, the governor proposed PAsmart – a first-of-its-kind workforce development proposal a $50 million targeted investment in STEM, computer science, apprenticeships, vocational training and more, so students and workers get the skills needed for in-demand, middle class jobs.
Cipriani toured Schuylkill Technology Center’s job training programs including the electromechanical, emerging health and the culinary arts programs. Later, she was joined by PennDOT officials and viewed the school’s co-op program at PennDOT’s Schuylkill County Maintenance Office in Schuylkill Haven and spoke with students in the auto/diesel mechanics program.
The School to Employment at PennDOT (STEP) Program introduces eligible high school seniors to PennDOT’s operations and provides them with meaningful work assignments in skilled trades, professional and technical work, and administrative skills. Since the program’s implementation, 126 students have participated or are active in the program.
“There are so many opportunities at PennDOT and our partnership with educational institutions is critical to showing those opportunities to the next generation of workers,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “Our STEP program is one example of how we’re providing hands-on, valuable experience to students who will bring those skills to the department or other employers in the future.”
Three auto/diesel mechanic intern students are participating in this year’s STEP program through Schuylkill Technology Center.
“The Schuylkill Technology Center is fortunate to have supportive partnerships with local business and industry, such as PennDOT, which provide our students invaluable opportunities to enhance their education in a real-world setting,” said Schuylkill Technology Center Assistant Principal Stacey Minahan. “To be competitive in the 21st Century economy, every student needs career readiness and applied technical skills.
“At the Schuylkill Technology Center, these goals are being met through theoretical classroom lessons and practical, hands-on instruction on a daily basis. The additional opportunity of school-to-work programming allows students to take the knowledge they acquire in the classroom and emulate it in a real-word setting, and provides students with the necessary skills to successfully transition into the workforce or post-secondary setting,” added Minahan.
The Schuylkill Technology Center offers career and technical education to students in 10–12th grade with the support of the following sponsoring school districts: Blue Mountain, Mahanoy Area, Minersville, North Schuylkill, Pine Grove, Pottsville, Saint Clair, Schuylkill Haven, Shenandoah Valley, Tamaqua, Tri-Valley, and Williams Valley. STC operates campuses in Frackville and Marlin, and students have the opportunity to choose from 20 programs of study to prepare for careers in tomorrow’s high-tech workforce, enabling students to get a “head start” on post-secondary careers.
All Schuylkill Technology Center Programs of Studies have articulation agreements to various post-secondary higher education institutes, thus providing for advanced placement and advanced skill opportunities.
For more information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit PAsmart.