Workforce Development in Cumberland County PA
Developing a workforce means addressing skills gaps, making training accessible and fostering communication between employers and potential employees. Workforce development programs are typically public-private partnerships that connect workers with the training or educational opportunities they need to find rewarding careers while helping employers find skilled workers.
Cumberland County is one of the fastest-growing regions in Pennsylvania. As our population grows, it will continue to stress a workforce that is already experiencing a deficit of skilled workers in multiple sectors.
To address this issue — and increase economic opportunities for employers and workers alike — CAEDC is collaborating with Cumberland County’s officials, the business community, workforce agencies, housing and transportation organizations, and educational institutions, to create partnerships that identify skills shortages and develop innovative, on-the-ground solutions for addressing them. Our three focus areas are advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and heavy equipment.
As manufacturing becomes more automated and sophisticated, the necessary skills of its workforce have evolved. Throughout Cumberland County, there continues to be a need for the five occupations listed below — all well-paying jobs that require a high degree of technical knowledge. CAEDC is actively developing programs for students and mid-career professionals interested in training for these professions.
Includes five occupations:
- Industrial Engineer Technician
- Industrial Machinery Mechanics
- Maintenance Workers Machinery
- Maintenance & Repair
- Computer Numerically Control Operator
According to the Center for Workforce Information Analysis, there will be a net gain of 490 advanced manufacturing jobs by 2024 with an average wage of $48,340
These jobs require fewer workers but pay higher rates which is ideal for Cumberland County’s low unemployment rate.
This type of training will benefit the area’s distribution and logistics industries as well as a variety of other industries that use technological equipment.
As these companies continue to compete with e-commerce, the need to be automated will continue to grow along with the need to retain and attract skilled workers.
Healthcare is Central PA’s largest industry. Due to an aging population and a wave of retirements from Baby Boomer-age professionals, there will continue to be a strong need for nurses and other workers. CAEDC is working with our two biggest healthcare providers – Pinnacle Health and Geisinger – along with the county’s largest school district – Cumberland Valley and the Cumberland Perry Area Vo-Tech School — to identify and develop a specialized curriculum that would prepare students for this career path. This pathways program would ideally include a variety of courses targeted at broad-based healthcare education including soft skills training.
- Healthcare is our #1 private employer
- Growing need for nurses to offset the wave of retirements from baby boomers
- PA ranks #2 for having the largest population of elderly, next to Florida
- Number of Americans age 65 and older is expected to double during the next four decades
- According to the Center for Workforce Information Analysis, there will be a net gain of over 2,900 registered nurses in the Harrisburg-Carlisle metro area by 2024 with an average wage of $68,310
Building the infrastructure to support our growing economy will require heavy equipment along with professionals who can operate, maintain and service it. CAEDC is currently working with several local construction and excavation companies to bring attention to career opportunities in their industry. Recently, we facilitated a site visit to Volvo Construction in Shippensburg, where employers and educators were able to experience their heavy equipment simulators for potential partnerships for training.
Heavy equipment covers a variety of skill levels and occupations ranging from flaggers to surveying, estimators and project management engineers.