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.
CAEDC’s Advanced Manufacturing Committee has been able to assist Cumberland-Perry Area Vocational Technical School with a Robotics Engineering Program. This class is currently completely full with a waiting list for next year.
Also in the fall of 2019, a Pre-engineering and Manufacturing program will begin at Cumberland Valley School District with dual enrollment possibilities at area higher educational institutions. Possible careers include research and development at manufacturing facilities or mechanical, civil and electrical engineers.
- 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
Healthcare is the latest focus area and efforts will kick off in October 2019 at an event at Dickinson College aimed to highlight the collaboration between healthcare and educational partners with new and modified healthcare and technology programs. CAEDC is working with the big players in healthcare in the region to collaborate to help identify jobs and needed skills.
This information will be given to area educational institutions who are interested in putting programs together and updating their curriculum to include technology and soft skills.
Through initial research, we’ve learned it’s not just nursing jobs that are needed, there’s also large demand for cyber security and skills for individuals to be able to interpret all the data available from technology that is collected in the healthcare system to be usable for community wellness and insurance purposes.
Information will also be collected from retirement homes and assisted living facilities to include in these efforts to make sure we have a broader understanding of our area healthcare needs.
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.
A new program kicked off summer 2019 for students in the region at Cumberland Valley High School. Students from four different school districts enrolled in this first year and will learn about industry requirements, career pathways, and opportunities in the heavy equipment, transportation and logistics industry. Participants will earn their OSHA 10 Safety Credential and First Aid and Safety Certification. Volvo Construction Equipment also offered a heavy equipment simulator for the program.
CAEDC held an event in June 2019 with more than 20 employers in attendance, including excavator, construction, and paving companies to raise awareness about this program and the jobs available.