Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

10/03/2012 -- Community Colleges Launch Rapid Retraining Program for Pennsylvania’s Displaced Workers

PRESS RELEASE
For more information contact CCAC Public Relations

Harrisburg, PA The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) is part of a statewide initiative announced today by Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges that will help provide critical training to displaced workers in Pennsylvania, equipping them with the skills they need to get back to work in a high-demand, family-sustaining jobs. 

The program, JobTrakPA, will use fast and affordable retraining to help Pennsylvania’s displaced workers regain employment in today’s high-demand industries. JobTrakPA was made possible by a $20 million Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grant awarded to the colleges last fall. 

“Pennsylvania employers tell us that they have jobs waiting for workers with career-specific skills in several high-growth industries,” said Alex Johnson, president of CCAC and president of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges. “Community colleges are part of a nationwide effort to provide a new skill-set to our workforce that will create career pathways for qualified workers in the shortest possible time.” 

Currently, there are 15,000 TAA-eligible workers in Pennsylvania. The colleges, along with Pennsylvania CareerLink, are coordinating efforts to reach those workers and connect them to JobTrakPA for retraining and re-employment.  

Three high-growth, in-demand industries have been identified as priorities by the colleges. Training in these industries will be offered throughout the state, but will vary by regional needs:

  • Advanced Manufacturing;
  • Energy Distribution, Production and Conservation; and
  • Healthcare Information Technology.  

Dr. Johnson noted that each of these industries is projected to grow substantially over the next few years, and highly-skilled workers are in demand. 

“It is projected that there will be 4,800 job openings in advanced manufacturing in the coming years, over 32,000 job openings in energy distribution, production and conservation by 2016, and more than 9,000 job openings in healthcare information technology by 2016,” Dr. Johnson said. “As always, the community colleges stand poised and ready to respond to workforce needs. JobTrakPA will be a vital tool in getting Pennsylvanians trained and back to work.” 

Through the TAACCCT and other grants, CCAC offers training in in mechatronics, a multidisciplinary field of engineering. Funding covers CCAC’s Advanced Manufacturing/Integrated Systems Technology program and the college’s Certified Production Technician (CPT) course. CCAC’s Advanced Manufacturing/Integrated Systems Technology (AM/IST) program encompasses 300 hours of instruction and can be completed in six months or less. 

In addition to offering training, Pennsylvania’s community colleges have hired dedicated staff to help ensure students are successful at completing their courses. Following completion, staff will provide job placement assistance. The community colleges have already developed relationships with local employers who are ready to hire students who complete JobTrakPA training.  

In line with events taking place throughout Pennsylvania’s community college system designed to showcase career training in these high-demand fields, CCAC hosted a free Career Training Open House at CCAC–West Hills Center on Monday, October 1. 

CCAC staff provided personalized tours of the facility and programs including mechatronics, alternative energy, the trades and more. In addition, staff members answered questions about admissions procedures, financial aid opportunities, supportive services, career placement and workforce training. 

Additional information about JobTrakPA can be found at www.JobTrakPA.com. Information about CCAC’s Mechatronics programs is available by calling 412.788.7534 or by emailing selsayed@ccac.edu

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About the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)
CCAC annually educates 33,000 credit students through 170 degree, certificate and transfer programs and offers non-credit and workforce development courses to 30,000 students. The learning-centered institution’s mission is to provide affordable access to quality education and offer a dynamic, diverse and supportive learning environment that prepares the region’s residents for academic, professional and personal success in our changing global society. CCAC’s quality programs enable students to transfer credits to 520 colleges and universities and support regional workforce needs with accessible instruction available day, evening, weekend and online in Allegheny County and beyond.  

About Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges
Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges serve students from every county of the state.  The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges is a volunteer membership association for Pennsylvania’s community colleges. Its members include the college presidents, members of colleges’ boards of trustees and key college administrators.  The Commission represents the interests and advocates the collective needs of the community colleges to federal and state policymakers.  For more information please visit www.pacommunitycolleges.org.