The Consortium organized nearly two dozen workplace site visits this year—nine to support students in career learning, and the rest to help educators learn about opportunities for their students and the expectations they’ll face as they prepare for the workforce.
Aside from the handful of visits arranged for participants in our Future Ready Leaders program, others were for schools or organizations that incorporated one or more of the Consortium’s contract services into grants awarded to them.
“Educators always find these opportunities so informative for their students and themselves, but most don’t have the time or contacts to create them,” said the Consortium’s Executive Director Jackie Foor. “They reach out to us because we’ve built a network of employer and post-secondary partners that are willing to help.”
“The visits are really a win-win,” said Program Director Gina Barrett, who both arranges and attends most of them. “Students and educators learn so much, and employers and post-secondary partners see them as opportunities to showcase their jobs or programs and contribute to overall workforce development.”
Contracted student visits were part of a career-learning initiative at McKeesport Area School District’s United at Twin Rivers Elementary School, where we also worked with teachers to support Professional Learning Communities.
Site visits for adults took the form of Educator in the Workforce (EIW) experiences, or immersion opportunities that give educators a chance to learn about our region’s industries, career paths and training opportunities, while also finding out how the subjects they teach might be applied in various jobs.
Among those participating in EIW opportunities were:
- ABC CREATE’s L.EA.D.S. initiative, for which we also provided a workshop on school-business partnerships and training in Project-Based Learning;
- Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s (AIU’s) STEM+C initiative, which incorporated EIW experiences into a grant to enhance STEM & Computer Science Career Readiness in high needs districts that are affiliated with either the AIU or the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit (WIU).
Among participating employers and training programs were: Aerotech; Allegheny County’s South Park; Allegheny Health Network’s STAR Center; ARM Robotics; Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center; Carnegie Mellon University’s Cyber Security Division; Cook Medical; Covestro; Dick’s Sporting Goods; Elliott Group; Operating Engineers Local 66; Urban Design Associates; Moonshot Museum; Pittsburgh Opera; Pittsburgh Regional Transit; UPMC; and Westmoreland County Community College