Monaca, PA – The Community College of Beaver County (CCBC) has received a $150,000 gift from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to create and lead a tristate consortium of industry leaders, higher education providers, workforce development boards, and others in order to prepare a trained workforce for energy and advanced manufacturing jobs. Funding from the gift will enable CCBC to convene a diverse group of partners in order to address the economic, educational, and career opportunities within the tristate area’s energy and advanced manufacturing sector by providing leadership for training, curriculum alignment, educational offerings, and a coordinated approach to meeting the region’s employment needs.
“This investment from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation will align educational and industrial partners around the shared vision of creating a trained workforce for the transformational opportunities in the region’s growing energy and advanced manufacturing sector,” explained CCBC President Chris Reber. “The CCBC community is enormously grateful for the Benedum Foundation’s trust and support that elevates CCBC’s leadership in advanced manufacturing training, and recognizes our focus on partnerships and collaboration to address regional economic transformation.”
Over the course of the last four years, CCBC has partnered with more than 40 industry leaders to design and launch a regionally distinctive Process Technology program that is vital to the petrochemicals and advanced manufacturing industries. This is a core component of CCBC’s larger strategy to address the needs of Shell Chemicals and many other industrial organizations through Process Technology, Engineering and Industrial Maintenance programs.
The grant-funded tristate consortium will bring together higher education providers, economic development organizations, businesses, public non-profits, philanthropic organizations, and development boards from Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and Northern West Virginia, and will join the three states with a shared voice, agenda, and organizational model in order to strategically and collaboratively address the burgeoning workforce needs of the region.
“I believe that the community college system is the most strategically positioned agent for workforce development in our region. Training at certificate and associate degree levels is crucial to preparation for the majority of all new jobs, and the tristate region of Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and Northern West Virginia represents a single labor shed and commuting area,” said Dr. James Denova, vice president of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. “In that regard, we are very excited that Community College of Beaver County has stepped forward to lead a consortium of community colleges and industries from all three states to take advantage of the anticipated growth in energy-related manufacturing. CCBC has strong partnerships with industry and an entrepreneurial spirit that we expect will give new definition to school-business partnerships.”
The Consortium will be led by an Advisory Committee consisting of members from each of the core areas mentioned above with the college presidents from CCBC in Pennsylvania, Stark State College in Ohio and Pierpont Community College in West Virginia serving as the consortium’s chairperson on a rotating basis. Dr. Reber will chair the consortium’s inaugural year. General membership will consist of businesses, workforce investment boards, and other educational partners.