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News Articles from April 2010
State Officials Tour Rehabilitated Houses
Lancaster: Officials of the PA Department of Labor and Industry and PA Workforce Investment Board toured our sites in Lancaster City where the Construction 201 training class is rehabilitating houses for the City of Lancaster. Dan Kuba, Kelly Whitman, and Veronica Snyder saw the four houses at 414 S. Queen St., 532 Fremont St., 70 S. Marshall St., and 540 Poplar St. that are being made ready for sale with Paul Risk Associates and Wohlsen Contruction providing the general contracting leadership. The local Pennsylvania Conservation Corps crew is also participating in the project.
Mayor Rick Gray and Randy Patterson, Director of Economic Development and Neighborhood Revitalization, from the City of Lancaster along with William Griscom, President of the Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, joined the tour and spoke to the unique partnership which has been developed between the Workforce Investment Board, the City, Thaddeus Steven College, and the two general contractors. Mayor Gray said that "this project is fulfilling the vision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by creating jobs and making a contribution to the quality of living in a city like Lancaster".
Construction 201 takes graduates of Construction 201 or Building Maintenance and moves them to another level of construction skills by offering classes in weatherization and the preservation of older buildings while, at the same time, providing field work where the skills can be practiced in a real world situation. Graduates can move into positions in the construction industry where many will be good candidates for apprenticeships in carpentry, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing.
As the homes are finished and sold, the partners in the project plan to reinvest the proceeds into rehabilitating more homes using Construction 201 participants for the workforce. Scott Sheely, Executive Director of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, commented that "this is a sustainable model that we hope to keep going as long as possible".
Winter Work Participants Ready for Spring
Lancaster: Spring has brought, not only a wonderful close to a record-setting winter, but also renewed hope and a list of work experiences to the participants in the Lancaster County Winter Youth Work Program operated by the Lancaster Employment and Training Agency (LETA) . March closed out this year's winter program for over 100 young adults aged 18 - 24 years old. The participants gained valuable work experience and on-the-job training in employable fields like: childcare, construction, maintenance, and office administration.
For many of the participants, this experience has been invaluable to helping them become employable, by giving them new skills or setting them on a path to pursuing further education to obtain career goals. Here are a few testimonials from participants in the winter program.
"The Winter Work Program helped make me a better person. They gave me all the tools I needed to have a successful work experience." ~ Taylor B.
"Through the Winter Work Program, I had the chance to prove my communication skills with co-workers, supervisors, and customers. Since this is my first time job, I am confident to say that I have built a strong starting for my (employment) path." ~ Mina O.
"Coming into the Winter Work Program was the best thing I could have done in the past two years. For two years I was lost and confused I didn't know what I wanted to do with myself or where I wanted to go in life. I had no goals and no future ahead of me. I would like to thank them for giving me back my life and a future to look forward to. Thanks to all for this great experience." ~ Jasmin G.
Not only did the participants benefit from this program, but over 30 non-profit and government agencies gained additional help in a time of mounting workloads and limited staffing budgets. This program relied on these organizations and supervisors to mentor and provide work experiences for the Winter Work participants.
Nearly half of the participants have found employment, enrolled in an educational program, or have enlisted further services from PA CareerLink. We look forward to hearing many more successful outcomes from the individuals that have participated in the Winter Work Program; after all... spring is in the air.