Back to list July 25, 2016Potthoff: Education key to industry growthThis editorial was published in the Cumberland Valley Business Journal and Cumberlink.com.Cumberland Valley Pennsylvania is home to award-winning and high ranking school districts along with a selection of institutions of higher learning. Our nearby surrounding counties also offer technical schools and other options for higher education.Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC) plays an important role in connecting our educational institutions to our current employers. We also work with our institutions to ensure their programs align with our workforce needs.Each of our educational institutions are unique which offers us a diverse workforce and creates opportunities to meet our employer demands. Our educational institutions support our identified industry clusters from the Strategic Economic Development Plan including: Agribusiness & Food Processing, Manufacturing, Transportation & Warehousing, Healthcare, Professional Services and Tourism.For example, Messiah College has many nursing options. This area has a large number of retirees, the increased demand for health services and long-term care will continue to grow. Messiah College and Shippensburg University also have programs focused on engineering and technology that directly correlate to our advanced manufacturers in the area like Volvo Construction and Carlisle Syntec Inc.It’s not just the colleges and universities that are thinking of future career paths for students, the area’s vo-techs and high schools are as well. Shippensburg High School has a strong agricultural program to get students interested in ag-related careers to assist with the aging farmer population in the County. Cumberland Valley High School is working to adapt their programs to align with future workforce needs and highly skilled occupations such as trades, technology and advanced agriculture.Vo-techs are also looking at their programs to include specific training needed to fill the gap for quality skilled trade occupations due to the high number of baby boomers retiring. These skilled jobs can pay more than average jobs with less time in school and debt for the student.One of our target industries is Professional Services and our educational institutions focus on this industry as well. Central Penn College recently added a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Banking and Financial Services. Shippensburg University is also heavily invested in building their business programs and degrees.Learn more about our industry clusters and educational institutions at CumberlandBusiness.com.CAEDC’s New Business-to-Business Events CalendarCAEDC recently launched our new online events calendar at CumberlandBusiness.com/events. This new calendar is designed to focus on B2B events hosted by our Chambers and downtown organizations as well as many of our area businesses. Our hope is that this new calendar will provide a free opportunity for businesses to promote their events to the business community. We will still maintain our robust tourism-related events calendar at VisitCumberlandValley.com. Please continue to post events to either calendar as appropriate. If you have any questions, please contact CAEDC at 717-240-7198.