Leaders from school districts, career and technology centers, local and regional businesses, chambers of commerce, workforce development, and municipal representatives gathered at the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center (LCCTC) on Wednesday, June 12.
This diverse group met to collaborate on methods to connect and build career pathways to ultimately produce a workforce that is fully prepared and trained to meet the rigorous and always changing needs of the business community.
One of the great challenges in education is to incorporate real-world examples and experiences into curricula such that it exposes learners to various professional roles and industries. Developing a career pathway program is not work training for a specific job. It is providing students the information and experience to find and pursue opportunities that merge with their strengths and interests. The workshop today at the LCCTC convened to build the first stages of such an overall collaboration between education and business.
The session was funded through the Lancaster Workforce Development Board and facilitated by the National Center for College and Career Transitions (NC3T), an organization that works to help integrate the world of work into the learning process.
Dr. Joann Hudak, an education consultant with NC3T, explained about the endeavor, saying, “People in business say that they want to work those with education to support students. Education leaders say that they want to work with businesses to better prepare students for real-life. But that is where it stops. That vital next step is never taken. We are here today to take that step.
Business and education leaders attending today will come away from the session having developed an initial vision of a career pathway system for Lancaster County, including next steps for organizing, planning, and action.