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Teacher in the Workplace Grant to More Strongly Prepare Students for 21st-Century Workforce

District Wide

August 29, 2018 | Faculty News

Dr. Boerckel speaks to a crowd of participants in July.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AUGUST 29, 2018) — A new venture in career education launched this summer, thanks to a $24,000 grant that paired Williamsport Area School District teachers with 16 places of business and industry in the area in an effort to more strongly prepare students for a 21st-century workforce.

In June, WASD was among 48 programs across the state to receive one of Gov. Tom Wolf’s Teacher in the Workplace grants. Funded through state Department of Labor and Industry, the grants allow teachers, counselors and school administrators to interact directly with employers to learn about industry trends, needs and opportunities.

With the help of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce and the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation, a cohort of 20 teachers from across all grade levels are gaining first-hand experience and knowledge to enhance classroom instruction, student learning, and career readiness.

So far, teacher pairs toured facilities and met with employees, learned about the benefits companies provide to the community and the skill sets they require (with or without post-secondary training) to successfully employ workers. Teachers also met to create new, relevant career, education and work lessons at each grade level span to support Future Ready outcomes for all students.

“The initiative began this summer with an engaging breakfast summit for all participants and will continue with a reflection and vision meeting in the spring,” said Dr. Bernadette Boerckel, the district’s secondary education supervisor. 

Boerckel said the goal of the program is to strengthen the relationship between educators and employers for the benefit of all students, whether they begin work in high school, enter the workforce upon graduation, enter the military, or pursue two- or four-year degrees.

“This grant also seeks to help keep our educators informed of the job opportunities that exist locally across a variety of labor markets, which open doors that otherwise may remain shut,” Boerckel said. “This grant is all about a community learning and growing together toward a prosperous Williamsport, now and into the future.”

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