Representatives from the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce and the Northeast PA Manufacturers & Employers Association discussed workforce development education and training opportunities at the latest Humboldt Park Association meeting hosted by American Eagle Outfitters.
Greater Pittston Chamber Executive Vice President Michelle Mikitish spoke to attendees about the Innovations in Management Registered Apprenticeship program that is group sponsored by the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce, and the Luzerne/Schuylkill, Lackawanna and Pocono Workforce Investment Boards.
The program is open to both new hires and existing employees. The apprenticeship program is approved by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and registered under standards approved by the Pennsylvania Apprenticeship and Training Council and the Federal Committee on Apprenticeship. Classes, which are a part of the program, are held in conjunction with Luzerne County Community College and will begin in March. While the program’s classes will be offered at the Pittston Chamber office, students can also sign up to attend classes at LCCC’s campuses in Nanticoke and Hazleton.
Mikitish said, “We talked to a lot of employers and everybody has employees who they want to see go further in the company but they don’t have the necessary skills. This apprenticeship gives employees the tools they need to succeed in the company.”
The apprenticeship training involves 2,000 hours of structured on-the-job training, which is designed to meet the needs of each individual employer, as well as 192 hours of related classroom instruction on topics including first-time supervisory skills, office management skills, human resource management skills, business communication skills and customer service skills.
At the completion of the program, the apprentice will earn 16 college credits and a Small Business Skills diploma from Luzerne County Community College. Additionally, employees in the program will move progressively from a beginning wage to an entry-level journey workers wage for every 550 hours of the program they complete.
Funding for the apprenticeship is available through the U.S. Dept. of Labor and the PA Dept. of Labor. Employees may also be eligible for financial aid since the program contains 16 credits.
In addition to the apprenticeship program, the Northeast PA Manufacturers & Employers Association (MAEA) recently released its 2020 training catalog, which includes five certificate series and 12 new trainings. Certificates can be earned for lead worker/team leadership, supervisory development, management development, communication mastery and human resources. New trainings include Workplace Empower Skills for Women, Designing a Buddy Program for New Hires and Hazardous Materials Receiving/Handling/Shipping.
Chris Robbins, director of training and development for MAEA, said that, in addition to the catalog of course offerings, MAEA staff instructors are also available to provide on-site training, as well as one-on-one consulting services. “Our staff trainers will assist employers in designing training or development programs to meet their organization’s unique needs, including scheduling and location requirements,” she said. “We get to know your organization and what specific goals you want to achieve in the training. Your employees receive information and skills to assist them in dealing with the real issues they face in their own day-to-day work environment.”
For more information on the training program, contact MAEA’s Hazleton office at 570-450-6893.
The Humboldt Industrial Park Association is administered by CAN DO, Inc. and is open to all park industries.