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Targeted training for the Cumberland Valley workforce

The following is an excerpt from an article on Cumberlink.com, posted on February 26. The full article is available here.

Cumberland County is gearing up to be more proactive in career training to meet a growing need for health care, engineering, technical and warehouse and distribution workers.

“There are great models across the state that we can look at to improve our quality of career training,” said Kristen Rowe, communications manager at Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp. (CAEDC). “Our goal is to be the connector between the educational institutions and employers in the county. We want to bridge the gap and allow for strategic planning on the educational side for upcoming industry segments and career opportunities.”

CAEDC, CareerLink, Employment Skills Center in Carlisle and New Hope Ministries in Mechanicsburg offer training opportunities to prepare workers for careers in a competitive environment.

“There is not a day goes by that we don’t have something going on here, in-house recruitment, employers coming in to our facility to try to attract people to their positions,” said Samuel Marte, site administrator at the Pennsylvania CareerLink at 1 Alexandra Court, Carlisle.


The Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp. (CAEDC) will be partnering with area colleges, universities and tech schools to connect businesses with the educational institutions to better plan for career training.

The corporation also partners with CareerLink on larger employers in the area, since CareerLink is aware of locals looking for employment.

The CAEDC says improving career training in Cumberland County can start with addressing the perception about manufacturing jobs.

“These new manufacturing warehouses are technical, state-of-the-art facilities that require highly-trained workers with specific job skills,” said Kristen Rowe of the CAEDC. “The second step would be educating parents and students on realistic jobs for the area and well-paying, highly skilled jobs they may not even be aware of.”

Rowe lauded efforts in the high schools.

“Our school districts, and specifically the Carlisle High School’s Center for Careers and Technology and Cumberland Perry Area Vocational Technical School, are combating these misconceptions by offering real job experiences and programs that allow high schoolers time in the field,” Rowe said. “A great example is how the Carlisle High School’s Center for Careers and Technology works with the Carlisle Regional Medical Center to allow students training in medical fields they normally wouldn’t see until college.”

Area colleges also might be more in tune with industry’s needs for employment.

“Our area colleges are really starting to think about future jobs and employer needs,” Rowe added. “CAEDC sees this as an area of opportunity and we wish to continue to encourage our educational institutions to be proactive in planning their future career training programs.

Rowe cited two examples. “Shippensburg University working with Volvo Construction Equipment to offer a new degree in electrical engineering,” Rowe said, “and McCann School of Business’ model of being responsive to employer needs.


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