WEST CHESTER (October 29, 2018) – State Senator Andy Dinniman announced today that the West Chester Area School District (WCASD) will receive $5,000 in state funding to help students learn about potential career paths through job-shadowing and other programs.
The funding comes through the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Career Readiness Mini-Grant Program.
“It’s important that we engage students early on in thinking about their futures in the workforce and exploring careers that harness their talents and spark their interests,” Dinniman, who serves as minority chair of the Senate Education Committee, said. “Job shadowing and other career readiness programs help put students on the path to post-secondary success by tying specific skill sets and experience to the promise of gainful employment and professional growth.”
The WCASD program was one of 41 across the Commonwealth to be awarded $180,000 in total funding to help students learn about career opportunities and create stronger connections between schools and community partners. The minigrants were funded through a Strategic Innovation Grant with state Reemployment Fund dollars.
“We proudly support these career readiness projects, which help to build a bridge between school and real-world work experience,” said Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “Students need to explore their career options early, with hands-on training, so that they are well-prepared as they move into the workforce and post-secondary education.”
For this year’s grant program, the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units (PAIU) and Intermediate Units (IUs) across the commonwealth reviewed applications and selected grantees.
Successful applicants are required to work with their local Workforce Development Boards and base their work on regional labor market needs.
Other career readiness activities funded by the mini-grants include:
- Conducting work-based learning experiences, job shadowing, and field trips to job sites;
- Providing online programs that assist students with career awareness and exploration;
- Facilitating professional development for educators;
- Hosting career fairs, guest speakers, and mock interview programs;
- Establishing, scaling, or sustaining career pathways; and
- Educating/engaging parents/guardians about high-demand industries in the region.
This is the second year that the Career Readiness Mini-Grants were awarded. In the
2017-2018 school year, more than 45,000 students participated in a Career Readiness Mini-Grant project across Pennsylvania.