New Workforce Development Program, Unique Area Partnership Announced
In an effort to help remove socio-economic barriers for some individuals looking to enter the workforce and earn a life-sustaining wage, Johnson College, United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania, The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development, and the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund have formed a unique partnership to address this critical need and solve the skills gap in NEPA.
RISE: Readiness In Skilled Employment is a workforce development program to serve residents of Lackawanna and Luzerne counties with the opportunity to obtain technical training while accessing additional supports to remove any barriers that stand in their way of starting a new career. Funded by the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, the support and services offered will provide enrolled participants the pathway necessary to earn a family-sustaining wage. RISE paves the way for individuals and their future generations to succeed.
“There are over 7,000 jobs currently posted available in NEPA even with a declining unemployment rate and increased labor force participation,” commented Teri Ooms, Executive Director at The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development. “These jobs require all different levels of education, training, and skills. There is opportunity! RISE addresses both the education and training to secure those jobs, while helping individuals with all the other challenges that affect their ability to learn and be gainfully employed.” Participants will achieve the hands-on education through Johnson College to secure an in-demand job in NEPA.
“For over 100 years, Johnson College has worked to produce skilled technicians needed for the workforce, and now the need is greater than ever,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, Johnson College CEO and President. “By our organizations working together, more people from our community will have an opportunity to lessen the job market’s skills gap by becoming well-trained technicians without having to overcome certain barriers. Plus, they will enter the workforce with the knowledge and training to be able to earn family-sustaining wages. RISE will change lives.”
“United Neighborhood Centers is thrilled to be working with Johnson College, The Institute, and the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund on this new initiative,” noted Lisa Durkin, President and CEO of United Neighborhood Centers. “Never before has the need for a strong skilled workforce been more evident. Many industries and professions are looking to fill key positions right now. It is our goal that we meet the demand of area employers and prepare the families and individuals we work with for these rewarding opportunities.”