KERSEY — Workforce Solutions for North Central PA has been awarded a $164,555.90 grant from the state Department of Labor & Industry which it says will go to support its Business and Education Connect Partnership program.

According to Executive Director Susie Snelick, “grant dollars will support the counselors and activities in all six of our counties.”

The six-county region served by the group encompasses Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, and Potter counties.

The program was started in 2012 with the goal of ensuring awareness among youth of career opportunities and associated skills needed in the six-county region Workforce Solutions, the North Central Workforce Development Board, serves.

“We started this effort back in 2012 based on input from employers who were concerned about a pipeline of workers and wanted to be sure that our young people understood the career opportunities in our region,” Snelick said. “We employ two career counselors that provide career awareness activities in Jefferson and Clearfield counties. We also collaborate with the Community Education Center for Elk and Cameron Counties and the Potter County Education Council, who provide similar services in our upper four counties.”

Workforce Solutions was one of 22 local workforce development boards awarded just over $2.6 million statewide.

The Business-Education Partnership program grants were funded entirely with federal dollars through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act.

“The Business-Education Partnerships program provides career-related experiences and development opportunities through soft-skills development, internships, workplace shadowing, and career mentoring, all with the goal of engaging more students in acquiring the technical skills needed by employers,” according to a state press release announcing the grants.

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