• Picking PIC: The Inside Scoop on Being a Summer Intern

     As college semesters and high school careers came to an end in May, a mix of graduates and students came together to be a part of Private Industry Council (PIC) as summer interns. With their diverse backgrounds and experiences, the interns brought a variety of skills to the table that allowed them to work as a team to provide the best programs and services to PIC clients.
    Each PIC intern was assigned an important role in youth programming. Summer interns hold various responsibilities such as being worksite supervisors or field workers for the summer youth program, working in the IT Department, doing clerical work at the offices, or directing the STEM camps. This year’s interns included Carly Heider and John Malone, recent college graduates; Leah Glasbrenner, Allison Means, Hannah Spinetti, Denni Claycomb, RJ Reinhard, Brianna Sokol, and Natalie Artman, all current college students, and Rebekah Junk and Jimmy Malone, recent high school graduates. Each intern joined PIC for the summer for different reasons. For quite a few of the interns who are pursuing careers in the field of education the internship provided valuable experience for the future.
    “As a field worker for the youth program, I was able to work directly with middle school students at three day camps, and I was able to help high school students enrolled in the work experience program achieve their goals,” says Carly Heider. “The internship allowed me to gain more organization, communication, and planning skills that will help me as a future teacher.”
    Likewise, Leah Glasbrenner states, “I like my job [at PIC] because it is really rewarding. Many of the youth in our program face obstacles that hinder their ability to achieve their goals, and it is awesome knowing when I have helped someone.”
    Both Heider and Glasbrenner, and the other interns, worked primarily with the summer youth work experience program that PIC provides annually. While learning organization and communication skills, the interns are responsible for managing files, leading work-site and youth orientations, monitoring worksites, and mentoring the youth. Leah Glasbrenner says that all of these responsibilities provide “real-life experience with problem solving and thinking on [your] feet” as well as “learning how to multitask, prioritize, and communicate effectively with others.”
    Denni Claycomb’s internship was as a field worker. Her role allowed her to travel to various work sites as a supervisor, promoting the summer youth programs, instructing kids of varying age levels at the STEM camps, and helping out with PIC programs at the YMCA in Uniontown.
     “My favorite part of [being an intern] was making memories with the other interns and meeting the kids from the STEM camps,” she says. “I really appreciate the opportunity to work at PIC, and everyone from the Greensburg and Lemont Furnace offices as well as the Uniontown YMCA.”
    Other field workers for PIC this summer have had similar experiences. Allison Means (a worksite supervisor), for example, says that one of the best parts of the internship was all of the different ways to be involved and help people in the communities that PIC serves. “Not only was I able to work with children for part of the summer,” she explains, “but I was also able to assist families in need at my specific worksite and work side by side with other professionals.”
    Another summer intern, Brianna Sokol, had a different experience. She was assigned to the I.T. Department to gain more experience for her college minor of computer sciences. She worked alongside Dave Shimek, who is the IT Supervisor for PIC. PIC gave Brianna the ability to learn how to work with different software and become more acquainted with computer equipment. She learned day-to-day skills like troubleshooting errors, solving unexpected problems, and understanding the inner-workings of different technologies.
    Overall, the Private Industry Council offers a unique internship that allows young adults the chance to learn valuable job skills and gain new experiences for the future. The interns at PIC perform important functions in programs like the summer youth work experience program, youth STEM camps, as well as working alongside staff in other departments. They learned how to communicate, collaborate, and problem solve in real-world situations. They had the opportunity to network with many community employers, agencies, parents, and youth and had a strong impact on all of the people that they served. The outcomes that the PIC interns experienced are fulfilling and it makes each day worth all of their hard work. Suzi Bloom and Deborah Cohen, who both supervised and worked closely with the summer interns, agreed that this summer would not have been as successful without the PIC interns. This year’s summer interns were extremely grateful for the opportunity at PIC and encourage other high school graduates or college students to be a part of the wonderful team next year.


    PIC is excited to announce its DADS MATTER Project launch in Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties on July 1, 2016!


    DADS MATTER is a responsible fatherhood program designed to support DADS in resolving barriers that impact their abilities to be actively involved with their children. The program will meet the goals of improved family dynamics, increased DAD and child well-being, increased economic stability and mobility, and reduced recidivism among reentering DADS from the justice system. PIC will serve 1,060 DADS over the next 5 years.


    Target populations include:

    • DADS with children up to age 24

    • DADS who are living in poverty or at-risk of poverty

    • DADS who are under and unemployed

    • DADS involved in the juvenile justice or criminal justice system

    • DADS reentering communities after incarceration

    • Teen DADS

    • Military and Veteran DADS


    An Individualized Education Employment Plan (IEEP) will be developed by each DAD with the assistance and continuous support of the DADS MATTER Team. This approach will connect DADS to services and activities which are evidence-based models that will result in direct benefits to their children, improve the status of DADS both economically & socially and offer DADS other supportive services. The supportive services to be offered by community partners include: substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, domestic violence services, and other ancillary supports.

    PIC’s retention plan for DADS includes the use of stipends, incentives, certificates, and recognition of progress. Numerous strategies will be utilized to keep DADS engaged and motivated.

    PIC’s past experience as a Responsible Fatherhood Grantee, knowledge and expertise from collaborative partners, and strong presence in the community for more than 32 years are key elements for the success of this DADS MATTER Project!

    For more information please call our DADS MATTER team in Greensburg at 724-836-2600.

  • 2014-2015 Divisional Employees of the Year

    2014-2015 Divisional Employees of the Year


    The Private Industry Council (PIC) annually recognizes Divisional Employees of the Year. In late spring, staff members submit nominations, putting forward names of colleagues who have demonstrated exceptional knowledge of their respective programs, perform their job duties well, and put forth extra effort, going beyond what is required of them. 

    We are pleased to announce the 2014-2015 honorees:


    Early Childhood Development Division

    Amy Oldland, Instructor in the Head Start of Fayette County Route 857-2 classroom, was named the Early Childhood Development Divisional Employee of the Year.


    According to her nominator, Amy is very knowledgeable of the Head Start Performance Standards and Program Policies.  She meets deadlines and has developed a tracking form to ensure she meets requirements.  Amy is able to speak to parents to explain the benefits of the program and is willing to do whatever it takes for families to get the best services.  She is also willing to volunteer to recruit at special events to obtain program applicants.  Her actions show that she puts the children and families first.

    Amy led the children in her classroom in the creation of an art mural for submission to the National Head Start Association’s “Head Start My Favorite Part” challenge in December 2014.  Her children’s artwork was selected as the winner. As a result, Amy attended the National Head Start Association’s conference in March 2015 and received a framed poster of the artwork, a classroom carpet of the artwork, and a $250 gift card for classroom art supplies.  Her successful efforts have helped to bring national recognition for PIC’s Head Start program.


    Workforce Development Division

    Doug McDonough, Job Developer for the EARN program in Fayette County, was named the Workforce Development Divisional Employee of the Year.


    Doug was nominated for his knowledge of the Employment, Advancement and Retention Network (EARN) program and for his ability to connect outcomes to work habits.  Due to his positive work habits, Doug has exceeded his goals for client job placements.  Doug has also been recognized for his willingness to volunteer his time and energy to improving other PIC programs.  He recruits EARN clients for YACHT (Young Adult Careers with Hands-on Training) program participation and offers assistance and ideas for the PIC Connection Radio and TV shows.  His extra efforts are valued as they help increase the performance outcomes of other PIC programs.

    Congratulations Amy and Doug!  Keep up the great work!


    Amy Oldland 2                  

     Tim Yucisin, President & CEO; Terri Campbell, Vice President of Operations, Amy Oldland; Debbie Parshall, Child Development and Education Classroom Manager


    Dough McDonough 1

     Terri Campbell, Vice President of Operations; Doug McDonough; John Evans, Employment Training Supervisor; Sean Sypolt, Vice President of Education & Workforce Development

  • 2013-2014 Divisional Employees of the Year

    The Private Industry Council (PIC) annually recognizes three Divisional Employees of the Year. In late spring, staff members submit nominations, putting forward names of colleagues who have demonstrated exceptional knowledge of their respective programs, perform their job duties well, and put forth extra effort, going beyond what is required of them. 

  • PA Pre-K Counts Partnership of Fayette: Helping Build a Brighter Future

    The Private Industry Council’s PA Pre-K Counts Partnership of Fayette provides an exceptional learning opportunity for preschoolers.

  • Summertime Learning With Water

    Quiz time!  What is the only substance found naturally in three forms—solid, liquid, and gas? The answer: Water!  Of course, you know that it is a liquid, its solid form is ice, and when it is steam, it is a gas!  It really is an amazing substance, and there is no better time to explore the properties of water with your child than in the summer.  Read on for some fun, water-based activities that will keep your child learning over the summer.

  • Connecting Communities to Greater Employment Possibilities

    The PA CareerLink® and its affiliate programs offer tremendous opportunity to local youth through various grant-funded educational and training opportunities. In light of current high unemployment rates, especially among youth in the United States, career development opportunities remain a crucial forefront in strengthening families, communities, and the economy. By providing resources such as post-secondary tuition assistance, resume development, job search assistance, and free computer classes, PA CareerLinks® and one-stop centers alike continue to connect our communities to greater possibilities.

  • County-Wide Open Enrollment to Kick Off in Aliquippa

    ALIQUIPPA, Pa. – The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. (PIC), the new administrator of the Beaver County Head Start, will host the first of a series of open houses on August 1.

  • 2012-2013 Divisional Employees of the Year

    The Private Industry Council (PIC) annually recognizes three Divisional Employees of the Year. In late spring, staff members submit nominations, putting forward names of colleagues who have demonstrated exceptional knowledge of their respective programs, perform their job duties well, and put forth extra effort, going beyond what is required of them. 

  • Happy Birthday, PIC!

    Did you know that the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. (PIC), will be celebrating 30 years of service to the communities in southwestern Pennsylvania this fall?

  • Changing the Face of the Private Industry Council

    On July 1, the Private Industry Council began its new (2013-2014) fiscal year. As the last year came to a close, we published our annual State of the Corporation report, which presents fiscal and programmatic information for program year 2012-2013. To access this report, please click here.

  • COE: SEEDS Hosts FREE Training

    The Center of Excellence: Social Emotional Early Developmental Success Project will be hosting a FREE training. This training will provide you with an overview of the Parent Basic Incredible Years® Curriculum. After this training you will be able to train your staff and/or parents on best practice for promoting school readiness skills.

  • PIC Welcomes Beaver County Head Start to the Family

    July 1 marks the beginning of PIC's new fiscal year (2013-2014). We always witness changes to programming this time of year as we adjust to new government regulations, budgets, and standards. This year will see an even bigger change as we welcome a new program into the fold!

  • PIC's PTAC

    Just what you need - more acronyms!

    Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc., (PIC) is a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). There are approximately one hundred of such centers throughout the United States whose purpose is to assist local firms enter the government marketplace.

    After an initial counseling session is conducted, the company is directed to the appropriate agency of government (federal, military, state, or local) that has evidenced a history of buying the products or services of the client company.

    PIC has been doing this since 1986. Tim Yurcisin, PIC's President and CEO, was instrumental in getting this first grant and was, in fact, the first PIC Procurement Specialist.

    For those interested in statistics and outcomes, the following applies: Since the program's inception, our PTAC has counseled and assisted 1,545 firms. Client firms have reported $688,206,469 in contract awards coming into the region. This means jobs, both new and retained.

    During initial counseling sessions with potential clients, PTAC can also provide information regarding other services that may benefit the company such as PIC's assessment services, customized training courses through the Education and Technology Institute, and subsidized trainings.

    Lastly, our PTAC has collaborated with agencies, such as the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland, St. Vincent College's Small Business Development Center, Seton Hill University's E-Magnify Women's Entrepreneurial Assistance Center, and Fay-Penn Economic Development Council, hosting workshops and educational seminars to apprise local firms of government and Marcellus Shale contracting opportunities.

  • 2011-2012 PIC Divisional Employees of the Year

    Congratulations to Kim Lanko, Mike Lavelle, and Becky Murtland who are being recognized as Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc., Divisional Employees of the Year. In June, each was awarded a $500 check and an engraved digital clock desk set.

    PIC Early Childhood Development Divisional Employee of the Year - Kim Lanko

    Kim Lanko is a Data Operator for the Head Start/Early Head Start programs. In this role, she performs data entry, helps at the reception desk, and performs computer maintenance. Kim's nomination noted that she is thorough and detail-oriented. She is a team player who helps co-workers with questions and problems related to computers and databases, working on a problem until she has it resolved. Kim has vast knowledge of the Head Start/Early Head Start programs, as well as the ChildPlus tracking software system used by the programs. She has assisted with the set up of ChildPlus and has attended ChildPlus user group meetings with her supervisor. An example of Kim's extra efforts is her help in organizing a bake sale to raise funds for the March of Dimes. She also planned the details for staff to participate in the March of Dimes walk in Fayette County.

    PIC Education Divisional Employee of the Year - Becky Murtland

    Becky Murtland is a secretary at the Greensburg office. Due to her vast knowledge of PIC programs/services she is able to answer questions asked by individuals over the phone and at the reception desk. If Becky does not know the answer to a question, she knows to which office or staff member the individual needs to be referred. As indicated by her nominator, Becky has excellent communication and time management skills. She has on several occasions demonstrated the ability to calm situations involving unhappy clients and bring the situation to an amicable resolution. Becky is willing to help anyone and has been especially helpful to the GED process performing GED Orientations, printing answer sheets, creating seating charts, and helping to set up the testing room for the test administrators. Recently, Becky discovered a problem with the E-Data tracking system used by all Pennsylvania adult education providers. When she alerted PIC's Director of Education, who in turn contacted the appropriate state contact person, it was learned that Becky was the only person who had identified this problem.

    PIC Workforce Development Divisional Employee of the Year - Mike Lavelle

    Mike Lavelle is an Instructor for the Education and Technology Institute (ETI). While he teaches Professional Development, English, and Math for our private licensed school, Mike's efforts in creating and teaching green energy classes has made a great impact in workforce development. He has taught Wind Energy, Geothermal, and Building Retrofit classes and does all he can to ensure his students are successful in the learning process. He is described by his nominator as dedicated and enthusiastic in carrying out his job responsibilities and he is always willing to accept new assignments. Evaluations from students are also positive regarding Mike's work. Extra efforts put forth by Mike include his earning of a BPI Auditor training certificate. In addition, he successfully passed his evaluation to become a Building Analyst Professional and researched ways we could get our green energy courses industry-certified. As a result, ETI is now a member of the United States Green Building Council.

    Congratulations Becky, Kim, and Mike! Keep up the great work!

  • HS/EHS Health Report Cards

    Parents of Head Start/ Early Head Start children received HS/EHS Health Report Cards for each enrolled child. "What," you may say, "is a Health Report Card?" This report card is meant to keep parents informed of the child's health status and give them an opportunity to work with our health and nutrition team to address any questions or concerns. The information contained in the Health Report Card includes the height, weight, head circumference if an infant, the BMI if the child is age 2 or older, the hemoglobin and lead. BMI is important.

    Did you know you had a BMI? Body mass index is a calculation that uses your height and weight to estimate how much body fat you have. Too much body fat is a problem because it can lead to illnesses and other health problems. BMI, although not a perfect method for judging someone's weight, is often a good way to check on how a kid is growing.

    Many factors must be considered to determine whether the child has a health or nutritional risk. We encourage every family to take the report card to the child's health care provider to start a discussion about the child's individual growth patterns and, with the physician, determine a course of action to assist each child in reaching their potential.

    For example, there is a relationship between low levels of hemoglobin and higher blood lead levels. If a child is anemic and has lower levels of hemoglobin, the child's body is more likely to absorb lead from his environment. Both, low levels of hemoglobin and higher levels of blood lead, negatively impact the child's growth and development. The Child Health & Safety team works in partnership with the medical community and the families of enrolled children to assist each HS/EHS child in growing and developing appropriately.

    Eating a balanced diet, getting daily physical activity and obtaining enough rest assist each child in learning at a very early age to make healthy lifestyle choices that will continue into adulthood. When we look at how a child is growing, we can see patterns that indicate what kind of and how many foods and drinks and the types of eating habits each day that may influence growth and development. Working with the medical and dental providers, the Child Health & Safety Team at HS/EHS invites families to join the "Healthy Way to Go and Grow" program. A HS/EHS nutritionist works with the family to develop several individualized health goals which will assist the child and family in achieving a healthy lifestyle. The goals involve simple steps to healthy changes. To learn more about the Health Report Card or to ask about the "Healthy Way to Go and Grow program" at Head Start, call a member of the Child Health & Safety Team at 724-430-4818 ext. 100.

  • PIC Promotions and New Hires

    The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. (PIC) is pleased to announce several promotions and new hires that have taken place this spring.

    On April 9, 2012, Debbie Parshall and Lori Bowers were promoted to management positions within PIC's Head Start/Early Head Start programs.

    Debbie Parshall now serves as the Child Development and Education Classroom Based Manager. She joined PIC as a Head Start Instructor 11 years ago. She was promoted to Education Supervisor in 2004, then became the Family and Community Partnership Supervisor in 2007--a position she held until this most recent promotion. She also acted as the organization's Community Engagement Group Project Coordinator from 2006-2009. Parshall is a graduate of Belle Vernon High School and Penn State University. She is a volunteer fire fighter in Fayette City, where she currently holds the position of Secretary, and is the President of the Fayette County Firemen's Association. She resides in Fairhope, Washington Township, with her husband, Kerry, and daughter, Bailey.

    Before being appointed to Child Development and Education Home Based Manager, Lori Bowers was an Education Supervisor for two years. Prior to that, she served as a Head Start Instructor and as a Family Resource Specialist. She has been with PIC since 2000. Her education includes two associate's degrees from Penn State--one in Business Administration and the other in Human Development and Family Studies. She earned a bachelor's degree from Penn State in Social and Behavioral Sciences and a master's degree from Carlow University in 2010 in Early Childhood Education. She is married and the mother of two teenage sons.

    Julia Sefcheck assumed the position of Youth Supervisor for PIC on April 30, 2012. She had been a Youth Specialist at PIC since 2005. Before coming to PIC, Sefcheck gained experience as a Substitute Teacher, Manager, Legal Assistant and Writer. After receiving a Bachelor's Degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, she attained Secondary English Certification from Saint Vincent College.

    Shujuane (Brown) Martin was promoted to the position of Director of Head Start, Early Head Start and PA Pre-K Counts on May 22, 2012. Martin began her tenure at the Private Industry Council in 2003, working as a Case Management Specialist. In 2005, she moved up to the position of Program Coordinator and was promoted again in 2008 to Project Supervisor. Prior to her employment with PIC, she was a Women's Basketball coach for the California Area School District. Originally from West Mifflin, Shujuane is a graduate from California University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Science degree in Business Administration. While at California University, she was a standout women's basketball player during her undergraduate years and she has been an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., since 2002. She is also very active in supporting and volunteering for multiple initiatives that strengthen local communities and currently is a board member for the Westmoreland County Food Bank.

    On June 25, 2012, Ericka Thomas began her tenure as Parent, Family and Community Engagement Manager within the Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Thomas previously worked for PIC as an EARN Coordinator, Case Management Specialist, Local DPW Contractor Representative and Program Development Specialist. She earned both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in English from California University of Pennsylvania, where she served as a Graduate Assistant in the Women's Studies program. She has also worked for the Herald Standard, Columbia Gas of PA and Williams Lea.

    Laurie Carson joined PIC on June 25, 2012, as a Planner/Grant Writer. Carson has served as a writer, editor and educator for various organizations throughout southwestern Pennsylvania, including the Observer-Reporter and John T. Boyd Company. She has a bachelor's degree in English from Waynesburg University and a master's degree in Rhetoric and Composition from Purdue University, where she served as a Teaching Associate.

  • PIC Hires New Director of Head Start/Early Head Start and Announces Fatherhood Supervisor

    President Tim Yurcisin of the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc., is pleased to announce that Jacquelyn Hoppe has been hired as the Director of Head Start/Early Head Start of Fayette County. Jacquelyn will be responsible for overseeing the Head Start/Early Head Start program of Fayette County, as well as overseeing operations of the PA Pre-K Counts Partnership.

    As a graduate of Marshall University, Jacquelyn studied speech-language pathology and minored in psychology and history. Prior to her employment with the Private Industry Council, she has held various positions within upper level management.

    Jacquelyn’s Head Start and early education experience includes providing speech-language pathology services for the Head Start of Cabell County and the Cerebral Palsy Council of Cabell County. Jacquelyn also designed the speech-language pathology service for St. Mary’s Hospital, working with adults and pre-school aged clients.

    In announcing Jacquelyn’s employment, Terri Campbell, vice-president of operations for the Private Industry Council said, “Jackie has a passion for people and the qualities to lead our programs to continued quality and excellence.”

    Additionally, Ryan Butter has been promoted to the position of Supervisor of the Fatherhood Initiative Program. His primary responsibilities will be supervising the Dads Matter staff, ensuring that Dads Matter reaches the program goals, using the 24/7 Dad curriculum, and assisting in additional funding ventures. The Fatherhood Initiative works to enable fathers to improve their relationships with their children through improved parenting skills, and helps fathers overcome barriers that often prohibit them from being effective and nurturing parents.

    Ryan is a graduate of University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with a degree in Elementary Education. He has been employed with The Private Industry Council in the capacity of a Fatherhood Case Manager in Fayette County since September, 2009. Ryan began serving as the interim Fatherhood Supervisor in March of 2011.

    When announcing Ryan’s transition Tim Yurcisin, President and C.E.O. of The Private Industry Council, said:

    “Ryan gives us the best chance to continue the momentum that he and the previous supervisor, Bill Huebner, had developed. Recently we had the opportunity to bring the Dad’s Matter program to Westmoreland County. Hopefully with the success of some upcoming grant applications we will be able to continue to grow this program in both counties.”

  • PIC Summer Youth Programs

    The Private Industry Council Youth department has been busy this summer helping middle and high school age children explore the world of manufacturing and robotics, as well as art, nutrition and exercise. During the months of June and July PIC held its annual high school YouCube program and New Adventures middle school camp in Westmoreland County and the Fayette Enrichment Program in Brownsville, Uniontown, Connellsville, and Albert Gallatin Areas School Districts. Follow this link to see pictures of these events: 2010 Youth Program.


  • Press Conference Held To Announce No Cost Training Program

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010 – The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. held a press conference to announce the kickoff of the Southwestern PA Manufacturing Boot Camp (MBC) program.

    The Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board, in partnership with the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc., Catalyst Connection, and Westmoreland County Community College recently obtained funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to fund this program designed to get workers trained and employed as quickly as possible in family sustaining, high-priority manufacturing occupations within the region.

    The MCB program provides 200 hours of free manufacturing-specific skills training over a five week period to qualified individuals. Upon graduation, job search and placement assistance will be provided to place program participants into permanent, self-sustaining, unsubsidized positions. Graduates of the program will have access to multiple pathways to employment through program endorsement by some of the region’s leading manufacturing firms.

    Those interested in participating in the Southwestern PA’s Manufacturing Boot Camp should contact PA CareerLink® Westmoreland, 151 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697, (724) 755-2145.

    Read the article "Program offers free job training" in the TribLive Business website.


    April and Ted Kopas and Ted Martin Commissioner Ted Kopas
    David Rea from Catalyst James Hayes of WCCC
    Lou Lazzaro and Commissioner Ted Kopas SWMBC Media Event
    SWMBC Media Event SWMBC-Media-Event
    SWMBC-Media-Event Commissioner Chuck Anderson