News Articles

Links to original publications of local news articles about CPWDC, Central PA CareerLink® and workforce and economic development concerns in general are presented here for your convenience.



Program Graduates Employees FIT 4 Careers in Building and Construction

Posted on March 30th, 2012 12:42 PM

Sunbury, PA – Eight (8) job seekers were recognized on March 28, 2012 for successfully completing the FIT 4 Green Building and Construction training program offered at the PA CareerLink® Northumberland/Snyder/Union Counties. This program was one of a series of FIT 4 Careers training programs being offered across the Central Pennsylvania workforce investment area. FIT 4 Careers was designed to provide job seekers with valuable work readiness and industry specific skills to increase their employability in fields like construction, health care, manufacturing and natural gas.

The Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation (CPWDC) was able to support this program, valued at $2,500 per person, at no cost to the job seekers through a grant received from the PA Department of Labor and Industry utilizing funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The program is endorsed by Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc, Central Pennsylvania Chapter.

Over several weeks, participants moved through a series of activities to develop skills and knowledge required for construction employment or additional training in the construction industry. In addition to career coaching provided by PA CareerLink® staff, the following instructors conducted industry-relevant classroom training to assist the job seekers:

  • Dave Remick, President of Associated Builders and Contractors, Central Pennsylvania Chapter
  • Wayne Sheppard, Assistant Professor of Construction Management at the Pennsylvania College of Technology, and
  • Craig Shaffer, President of Safety Works, Inc.

Graduates earned nationally-recognized NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) credentials by completing modules in Introduction to Blueprints, Introduction to Construction Math and Your Role in the Green Environment. Additionally, each graduate earned a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) by taking WorkKeys® assessments in Applied Mathematics, Locating Information and Reading for Information. The NCRC assists job seekers in demonstrating workplace skills needed to succeed in the job.

FIT 4 Careers programs are elite, intense learning sessions with strict requirements that demand defined soft skill behaviors, such as 100% on time attendance, to attain graduation. A high attrition rate is expected as participants learn more about the realities of the industry. Eight (8) participants graduated this session from a starting class of 24. Because the graduates have demonstrated a commitment to the program and increased their skills, they participated in an “invitation-only” networking fair with 7 local employers immediately following the ceremony.

An Information Session for FIT 4 Health Care will be held at the PA CareerLink® Northumberland/Snyder/Union Counties on April 18th at 10 am. For more information, please call 988-7300. Additional FIT 4 Careers programs are scheduled for other PA CareerLink® locations between now and June 30, 2012. Click here to learn more or visit your local PA CareerLink® office (Click here for locations).

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Click here to view a PDF version of the press release.

Smith Named Executive Director for Local Workforce Corporation

Posted on March 23rd, 2012 11:13 AM

Lewisburg, PA – Teri MacBride, Chair of the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation (CPWDC), has announced the appointment of Rachel V. Smith as the organization’s Executive Director effective March 23, 2012. During her 11 ½ year tenure with CPWDC, Ms. Smith has held various positions within the organization as she has assumed progressively more responsibility. She most previously served as CPWDC’s Assistant Director before being named Acting Director in January.

MacBride explained that Smith’s workforce experience and knowledge of Central Pennsylvania made her the winning candidate in the national search. “The 41-member Board of Directors of the CPWDC is confident in Smith’s leadership and vision for the organization. She understands the operations, the policy and the key players in the workforce development arena. During her tenure, Smith has been critical in expanding CPWDC’s strategic portfolio by securing millions of dollars in competitive grants and developing CPWDC’s internal research department which provides labor market support to other workforce investment areas, economic developers and employers.”

Smith intends to position CPWDC as the visible leader in cultivating a regional conversation about workforce issues. “In addition to the important oversight we provide to the region’s six PA CareerLink® facilities, CPWDC has expertise and dedicated staff to be a key partner in planning, executing and evaluating workforce solutions. I am excited to build on the organization’s strong foundation and relationships with many local and regional partners”, Smith stated. Regardless of economic conditions, the importance of having a qualified workforce never goes away. Smith and her team will continue to think critically about the next generation of workforce development.

CPWDC serves as the local Workforce Development Board (WDB) for Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union Counties. CPWDC, incorporated in 1999, is responsible for coordinating and developing Central Pennsylvania’s workforce system. CPWDC is one of 22 local WIBs across the Commonwealth.

Smith is a graduate of Middleburg High School, Shippensburg University and Virginia Tech, where she earned her Master’s degree in Public Administration. Smith resides with her family in Union County.

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Click here to view a PDF version of the press release.

Commissioner Riden Elected to Lead 9-County Local Elected Official (LEO) Board

Posted on March 5th, 2012 09:11 AM

Lewisburg, PA – The Central Pennsylvania Local Elected Official (LEO) Board announced the election
results from its reorganizational meeting held on February 24, 2012. The Board is comprised of one
County Commissioner from each of the nine counties in the Central Pennsylvania workforce investment
area: Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union
counties.

The LEO Board works in tandem with the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board (WDB),
incorporated as the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation (CPWDC), a 501c3 nonprofit
organization, to oversee the regional public workforce system, including six strategically located PA
CareerLink® facilities.

Otis Riden, Mifflin County Commissioner since 2006, was elected by his peers to serve a two-year term
as the Chairman of the LEO Board. Riden, a lifelong resident of Mifflin County, had a 40-year career with
New Holland, one of the largest farm machinery manufacturers in the world. Upon assuming this role as
LEO Board Chairman, Riden stated, “I am honored to serve in this capacity and look forward to working
closely with my fellow LEO Board members; WIB leadership Teri MacBride, Chair, and Dave Zartman,
Vice Chair; and CPWDC staff to promote, support and strengthen efforts to increase the employability of
the region’s workforce. Combining the expertise of public and private sector representatives allows the
system to be responsive to the needs of employers while maintaining accountability.”

Also elected during the reorganizational meeting were LEO Vice Chairman Dave Kovach, Columbia
County and LEO Second Vice Chairman, Robert “Pete” Smeltz, Clinton County.

The LEO Board plays a critical role in appointing qualified individuals, the majority of which are key
decision makers in private businesses, to serve on the Workforce Development Board. The LEO Board also
provides oversight of CPWDC’s $13.5 million budget, which includes Workforce Investment Act,
Department of Public Welfare and competitive grant funds to meet the workforce needs of job seekers
and employers.

About CPWDC
CPWDC’s mission is to be the leading vehicle for regional unification, coordination, integration and
alignment of workforce activities, resources and initiatives to support economic sustainability, improve
education systems and develop and retain a quality labor force in Central Pennsylvania. For more
information on CPWDC, including information on qualifications for prospective WIB members, visit
www.cpwdc.org.

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Click here to view a PDF version of the press release.

Unemployed Put to Work Cleaning Up Flood Debris

Posted on January 17th, 2012 06:50 AM

Open House Set for PA CareerLink® Northumberland/Snyder/Union Counties

Posted on January 10th, 2012 11:17 AM

Sunbury, PA – PA CareerLink® Northumberland/Snyder/Union Counties has announced plans to officially celebrate the opening of its new location at 225 Market Street on Wednesday, January 18, from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Attendees can learn more about the services offered to employers and job seekers through a site tour and discussions with PA CareerLink® staff. Invitees include local officials, business leaders and the general public. The event will include an official ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:00 pm coordinated by the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Open since July 5, 2011, the Sunbury office resulted from a merger of PA CareerLink® locations in Shamokin and Selinsgrove. The centralized Sunbury location provides convenient access to a large number of job seekers and employers from the three-county area.

The Open House coincides with the January 1, 2012 implementation of the work search requirement for all new unemployment compensation (UC) claimants. Act 6 of 2011, signed into law by Governor Corbett on June 17, 2011, requires UC claimants to demonstrate that they are actively searching for work in order to maintain their eligibility for weekly benefits. All new claimants are required to register for employment services with the Pennsylvania CareerLink® system (www.cwds.state.pa.us) within 30 days of applying for benefits and then may choose several ways, including accessing additional PA CareerLink® services, to meet and document weekly requirements.

PA CareerLink® staff can help employers understand how these new requirements may affect their applicant pool and what services are available to help them best match qualified workers to open positions.

PA CareerLink® staff provides personalized assistance for individuals preparing for and locating employment opportunities through job search resources, interactive job preparation workshops and career assessments including the ability to earn a National Career Readiness Certificate powered by WorkKeys®. A wide range of employment-related services to help all employers locate, recruit, screen and hire qualified candidates are available, including labor market information, staff assistance to market job openings, job matching to identify qualified, skilled workers and job seeker screening.

Regular business hours for the Sunbury location are Monday 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. More information is available at www.pacareerlink.state.pa.us or by calling 570.988.7300. In cooperation with the City of Sunbury, complementary customer parking is located adjacent to the building.

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Click here to view a PDF version of the press release.

Personnel Changes at CPWDC

Posted on December 28th, 2011 11:24 AM

Lewisburg, PA – As Chairperson of the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation (CPWDC), Jamie Aurand, Regional Director for Premier Healthcare Resources, announced that CPWDC Executive Director Shannon (Miller) Munro has accepted a position at Pennsylvania College of Technology. Effective January 7, 2012, Rachel Smith, CPWDC Assistant Director, will assume the duties of Acting Executive Director.

Munro’s resignation was accepted with regret at the CPWDC December 16, 2011 public Executive Committee meeting. Munro then spoke of CPWDC’s many opportunities and successes during the 12 years she worked in the business, including the receipt of millions of dollars in competitive grants for workforce projects and the introduction of the Career Readiness Certificate powered by WorkKeys® that is available in the PA CareerLink® offices across Central Pennsylvania. She also said that she has been fortunate to work with a talented group of individuals from across the region and many of whom have served on the CPWDC board and various committees.

According to Teri MacBride, PPL’s Susquehanna Region Community Relations Director who presently serves as Board Vice-Chair and will assume the position of Chair of the Board in 2012, a search committee for the Executive Director has been formed and will meet in early January. MacBride said, “our customers are our priority and they will notice no impact during what I expect to be a short leadership transition. I’m pleased that Rachel has accepted the responsibility to lead us during the next few months. Shannon and Rachel have worked together to create and manage the organization for more than ten years. I am certain that CPWDC will continue to successfully operate with a high level of productivity.”

MacBride continued, “a major benefit to our region has been the diversification of funding that has been secured during Shannon’s tenure. We have been positioned to be one of the Workforce Development Boards (WDB) from across the country that is not entirely dependent on federal resources from the Workforce Investment Act. Having an extensive portfolio allows CPWDC to be more flexible and adjust to current needs. While Workforce Investment Act funding to support PA CareerLink® operations represents a portion of funding, the Board will continue to seek opportunities to enhance workforce initiatives particularly in this challenged economy.”

Outgoing chairperson Jamie Aurand said “Shannon will really be missed. She was a founding member of the non-profit company. Over the years, and under Shannon’s leadership, CPWDC has been successful at obtaining competitive grants aligned with its mission to develop and retain a quality labor force in Central Pennsylvania. While Workforce Investment Act funding has continued to decline as a result of federal funding cuts, Shannon has been instrumental in securing those additional funds. When difficult decisions had to be made because of federal funding cuts to PA CareerLink® programs, Shannon provided solid, research-based and consistent information so that the Board could make the decisions necessary to remain within budget.”

CPWDC serves as the local WIB for Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union Counties. CPWDC has been in business since 1999 and is responsible for coordinating and developing a workforce system in this nine-county region of Central Pennsylvania. CPWDC is one of 22 local WIBs across the Commonwealth.

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Grant Funds Will Clean Up Flood Damage and Supply Jobs

Posted on November 30th, 2011 06:37 AM

The Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation (CPWDC) has received a $730,749 grant to clean up areas flooded during Tropical Storm Lee in Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union Counties. Funds will be used to provide temporary employment for eligible dislocated workers to participate in cleanup projects for public and non-profit entities.

Initially funds will be used to hire five crews of 6 laborers to clean debris, rebuild damaged structures and performing general grounds work. More may be filled as additional projects are identified and more funding is secured. Temporary full-time employees will be hired for up to six months. All participants will receive training including OSHA, First Aid/CPR and chainsaw training and receive PA CareerLink® services throughout the program.

According to Penny Hess, program coordinator for the grant, “these funds represent a win-win for our communities affected by the September flooding. We can provide some temporary relief and job search assistance to individuals struggling to find employment in this economy while supplying the much needed labor to support cleanup efforts across the region.”

By working with the County Commissioners, local governments, County Conservation Districts and County Emergency Management Agencies, over 30 potential projects, ranging from those to be completed in days to those that will require months of work, have already been identified across the region.

Individuals interested in learning more about the temporary positions should contact their local PA CareerLink®. Local contact information can be found at www.pacareerlink.state.pa.us. Nonprofit organizations and public agencies interested in securing cleanup assistance for flood-related projects can contact Penny Hess at 570.387.6288.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry is coordinating the grant effort across six workforce investment areas in Pennsylvania through National Emergency Grant (NEG) funds issued by the US Department of Labor.

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.  Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Click here to view a PDF version of the press release.