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  • The Fostergranparent Program is moving upward and onward!!!

     

    A new team began growing the Foster Grandparent Program of Southwestern PA just a few months ago by adding two (2) new coordinators and a new Supervisor. Kaytlyne Povlik, a new Coordinator, is responsible for three (3) of the six (6) counties served - Fayette, Greene and Washington and is based out of the Lemont Furnace PIC office. Sue Pierce, also a new Coordinator, is responsible for the other 3 counties - Allegheny, Beaver and Butler and is based out of the Beaver Valley Mall PIC office. Carrie Schmucker, the Supervisor, is based out of the Greensburg PIC office. They are all committed to the incredible benefits of this program for not only the children we serve but the seniors who are the backbone of this program.

     

    The Foster Grandparent Program of Southwestern PA is an impactful federally funded program. The Private Industry Council matches seniors 55+ who are low income (200% poverty level) with children in an educational setting that have special or exceptional needs. No prior experience is necessary but a want and love of children with the willingness to assist children in their scholastic achievements. There are benefits to being a volunteer. We provide a small hourly stipend, a daily meal allowance, traveling expense reimbursement and an opportunity to make a difference in your community.

     

  • Technology for the Head Start and Pre-K Counts programs

    Technology for the Head Start and Pre-K Counts programs

    The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. strives to enhance the knowledge of the children who participate in our Head Start, Early Head Start and Pre-K Counts programs. During the summer we have purchased Smartboard projectors and iPads to be used in our classrooms. With this technology, there is more interaction of the whole class by having the children manipulate objects on the board and use of the special pens. The iPads are connected to the smartboard projectors so the teacher can display what is on the iPad to the whole class. The teacher can use this as a basis of discuss with the children. The projectors are also connected to the Internet so staff can access a number of early learning sites, such as PBS.org. The goal is to make learning fun and ensure all children are being prepared for their transition to kindergarten.

    This technology will expose the children to a new way to learn. With this interactive technology, the child is more motivated since they can actually touch and move objects that are being projected. There is more socialization in the classroom when the lessons are being taught to the whole group. The interaction will enhance "Team Building" skills.

    In our Early Head Start program the staff will have iPads to take to the homes to support the curriculum and visits with the families. They will be able to assess the child's motor and vision skills.

    The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. has always strived to enhance the knowledge and abilities of the children we serve. We will keep working on this goal so children in our programs can easily transition to kindergarten, and hopefully continue to be motivated to learn throughout their education.

  • Establishing a Back to School Routine

    Establishing a Back to School Routine:

    It was another fast summer and most students regardless of the age are back in school. The start of school tends to be an adjustment for the entire family until everyone gets used to the new school schedule. The sooner a parent or guardian starts the transition from summer mode to school mode is better for the whole house. Here are some suggestions so everyone has a successful 2015/2016 school year: 

    • Establish an appropriate bedtime for each family member. (Most important stick to it even on the weekends or holidays!) 

    • Set goals to start making healthy food choices. (There are numerous community farmer's markets and/or stands setup that sell inexpensive locally grown fruits and vegetables.) 

    • All family members need to keep hydrated so drink plenty of fluids which are good for the body and skin. (Try to reduce the caffeinated and sugar based drinks that are not good for the body or teeth.) 

    • Create good study, homework habits and work environment. (Make sure your work environment is well lit, no music, television or interruptions. Purchase a calendar or planner so you can write down your due dates and finish assignments on time and not at the last minute.) 

    • Participate in a hobby or activity that helps you release your stress. (Stress is not good for the young or old so everyone needs a release when they feel like they're hitting their breaking point.) 

    • Ensure there is an open line of communication with your child (ren)'s teachers and school(s). (Make sure to complete initial paperwork on time. Attend open houses, meet and greets and other functions to support your child (ren) in their learning environment.)

     

     

     

  • Creating a Pleasant Bedtime Routine as a Family

    Bedtime routines are a very important part of the beginning of the school year.  Establishing a bedtime routine that is consistent and meaningful can build on parent and child interactions to develop relationships that are positive and thrive. Utilizing this time with children can make for a smooth transition to bedtime, which will ensure children are getting enough sleep every night—and this, in turn, makes the mornings a much more pleasant experience for children and parents.

  • Family Literacy Helps Parents be their Child’s First Teacher

    The leaves are falling and autumn is in the air.  The children are back on their school schedules.  When you think about school and when you were a student, do you remember who your favorite teacher was?   Most of us remember our favorite teacher as having set up a fun learning environment (classroom); these men and women pushed us lovingly and challenged us to always do our best.

  • Family Literacy Evening Activity for October

    dinoPIC’s Family Literacy programs in Uniontown and Greensburg will be hosting parent/child evening interactive literacy activities with a dinosaur hunt theme in October! Be sure to check out the details by clicking here!

  • “Momfessions”

    They say that confession is good for the soul. So these are my "momfessions." You know, the deep dark secrets of parenthood that nobody likes to talk about. All of you other parents out there can read them. Perhaps you will find comfort in my quirkiness. Or maybe you will have something in common with me, and realize that the strange little thought rolling around in your mind isn't so strange after all. Or maybe you will just get a little chuckle.

  • Changes coming to PIC’s Adult Education Classes

    The one true maxim in education is that the profession is always changing. With change come challenges but also the opportunity for great accomplishment. As K-12 educators prepare for the implementation of the Common Core Standards, Adult Education is being introduced to a portion of the standards that the Federal Department of Education thinks are most beneficial to Adult Education learners. This set of standards is known as the College and Career Readiness Standards, or CCRS. The CCRS is going to have a great amount of influence on all Adult Education programs across the nation.

  • Program to Provide Free MSHA-Approved Training to Local Youth

    Though there has been a lag in the coal market over the past few years, there is a large demand for new workers in the coal mining industry as the existing workforce reaches retirement age. This provides a great opportunity for youth seeking long-term, family-sustaining careers. 

  • Specialized Hiring Events: Tailored to Specific Industries Looking for Specific Skills

    The Business Service Team at the Fayette County PA CareerLink® has put in place Specialized Hiring Events for employers in Fayette. These events are tailored to specific industries for specific occupations.

  • Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children Month

    The month of October has been set aside to celebrate Pennsylvania's Promise for Children. Pennsylvania's Promise for Children is a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of providing Pennsylvania's young children with access to quality early learning opportunities.

  • PIC’s Board of Directors Welcomes a 13th Member

    With the introduction of the Beaver County Head Start into the Private Industry Council's Early Childhood Development Division, we immediately saw the need to have representation from Beaver County on our organization's board of directors. As a result, we are pleased to announce that we have added a thirteenth member to our board—Dr. Eric Rosendale, the executive director of the Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit (BVIU).

    Dr. Rosendale earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Geneva College in Elementary Education and started his career as a fourth grade teacher in Spring Lake, North Carolina. He then transferred back to Pennsylvania to teach second grade and elementary computers in Beaver County.

    After earning a master's degree in Education from the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Rosendale started working for the BVIU in 2000 as an instructional technology specialist.  After earning his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh in Administration and Policy Studies, he became the assistant executive director of the BVIU and most recently has been commissioned as the executive director (starting July 1, 2013).

    We are pleased to welcome Dr. Rosendale to our board. We have had the honor of working with him during the transition period into our new role as grantee for the Beaver County Head Start. Dr. Rosendale is a strong partner in reaching out to Beaver County Head Start families and community collaborators, and we are excited to have him as a member of our board of directors.

  • PIC Receives $2,000 Grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation

    The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. (PIC),  recently received a $2,000  Youth Literacy grant from the Dollar General Literacy Organization to support its literacy programs.  Specifically, the grant will support the Bookmarkers Club, a new initiative at PIC's afterschool program sites in Belle Vernon, Highlands, Monessen and Uniontown school districts.

  • Program Provides Workplace Experience to Youth

    It's difficult to get a job without experience. But at the same time, it's difficult to get experience without a job—a paradox that frustrates many who are seeking to enter the workforce for the first time.

  • Portable Scanners Streamline Head Start Application Process

    The Head Start programs of Fayette and Beaver counties now have new scanners to be utilized by staff for easily getting copies of important paperwork that the state and federal government either requires now or will require in the future. Having access to this new technology will help to improve the accuracy of the information needed for the families in our ChildPlus software system. ChildPlus is the database used to track children and family information.

  • ETI May Be the Answer

    ETI ClassroomDid you know there is a private licensed school in Greensburg? If you are looking for a new career but lack the skills needed by employers, the Education and Technology Institute (ETI) may be the answer you need.

    ETI is located at the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. (PIC), headquarters office on 219 Donohoe Road, Greensburg, and is licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Licensed Schools and accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools. ETI offers two 6-month diploma programs in Computerized Office Technology and Medical Coder/Biller as well as a short certificate program in Nurse Aide Training.

    ETI also has programs in Green Energy. We have classes in Solar Power, Retrofit, Geothermal, and Oil Patch Preparation System (OPPS). The Retrofit class teaches students how to do a building energy audit, and graduates become Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified auditors. The OPPS class teaches the six areas of safety certification needed to work on a Marcellus Shale site. Graduates of this program are then prepared for the many jobs affiliated with the gas and oil industry.

    ETI has some exciting events coming up, making this a perfect time to learn more about the diverse programs offered by the school! We are very proud to announce that PIC, ETI's parent company, will host the grand opening of the new addition to its headquarters in Greensburg on October 9, 2012-and everyone's invited! Construction of the expansion began in late April, adding an additional 3,650 feet to the building. This provides space for four new classrooms and three new offices. ETI will be utilizing the additional space along with other PIC programs.

    ETI New AdditionA Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will be the first activity of the day-long celebration for ETI and PIC. This ceremony will begin at 11:15 a.m. October 9 at PIC's headquarters on 219 Donohoe Road, Greensburg. U.S. Congressman Tim Murphy, 18th District, will be the keynote speaker. We will also provide tours of the new addition.

    The festivities will continue with the 12th Annual Celebration of Achievement scheduled for 5:30 p.m. This will be held to honor the successes of our ETI and Adult Education Program students. The ceremony will include keynote and student speakers. ETI students will be recognized for completing Medical Coder/Biller or Computerized Office Technology diploma programs or Nurse Aide Training. Adult Education Program students will be acknowledged for earning a Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma, obtaining/retaining employment, transitioning to post-secondary education/training programs, and/or increasing an educational Functioning Level on the Test of Adult Basic Education.

    Friends, partners, and collaborators of PIC and ETI are welcome to attend all events.

    For more information on any of ETI's great programs, please call 734-836-2395.

  • PIC’s Director of Education is recognized as Administrator of the Year

    On September 13th and 14th Administrators and Professional Development Specialists of the PA Department of Education Bureau of Adult Basic and Literacy Education programs joined together for a Professional Development Team Institute in Camp Hill, PA.

    At the conclusion of the institute, Regional Advisor Luke Suereth recognized various programs and their abilities to meet and exceed State Core Outcomes.  In order for an organization to receive and maintain funding for an Adult Education program, they must meet these outcomes on an annual basis.  Mr. Suereth recognized a variety of organizations, from small programs with volunteer staff to large programs, in effort to showcase that everyone has the potential to meet the outcomes, regardless of their size or obstacles.

    The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. (PIC), was recognized for consistently being a top performer in all of the five State Core Outcomes, which are:

    • The number of students obtaining GED achievements
    • The number of students transitioning to Post-Secondary education
    • The number of students gaining employment
    • The number of students retaining employment
    • The number of students improving educational functioning levels

    In addition to the PIC Adult Education program being recognized for its overall success, Tami Ozegovich, Director of Education, was recognized by Mr. Suereth as the Bureau’s Administrator of the Year.  Tami has been with the Private Industry Council for 26 years and has held various positions throughout her time with PIC.  She served as a classroom instructor for 9 years prior being promoted to the position of the Adult Education Supervisor.  Tami then assumed the position of the Director of Education in 2008.   During this time Tami has diligently led and assisted her staff in meeting and exceeding the expectations set forth by the PA Department of Education Bureau of Adult Basic and Literacy Education.

    The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. currently offers Adult Basic and Literacy Education throughout Westmoreland and Fayette Counties as well as offers GED prep and testing within local prisons.  The Education Division provides a wide range of educational services to fulfill the special needs of the adult learner.  The mission of the Education Division is to make students as employable as possible through academic enrichment and to develop the essential skills within each student that meet the demands of our present society.  The PIC Education Division also offers a variety of youth programs that provide educational enhancement, career exploration activities, job readiness/life skills, and guidance to in-school and out-of-school youth.

    If you are interested in education programs provided by the Private Industry Council you may contact either Donna Cartia in Westmoreland County at docartia@privateindustrycouncil.com or Roxanne Weekley in Fayette County at rweekley@privateindustrycouncil.com.

     

  • Save the Date!

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Help the Private Industry Council continue to meet the needs of residents in Westmoreland and Fayette Counties. On this day all donations will be matched by the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County! The minimum gift is $25 and is tax deductible. To give on October 4, please visit the Private Industry Council homepage and follow the Day of Giving Directions.

    For more information and to help us promote the Day of Giving please download and share our Day of Giving flier!

     

  • PIC YouthBuild Program Site Visit

    2011youthbuild2On Friday August 12, 2011, The Uniontown Youthbuild Crew went on a site visit to the Western Pennsylvania Operating Engineers (WPOE), Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program: http://wpaoperators.org

    At this site located in New Alexandria, PA, the WPOE train individuals interested in becoming heavy equipment operators and/or mechanic technicians.

    The crew supervisor, Dreyer Shipley of the PIC, along with Jim Hayes and Heidi Petrosky of Westmoreland County Community College, accompanied the Youthbuild crew to the WPOE site.  While there the Youthbuild crew learned about the different jobs within the Operators labor union, as well as how to become a member of the Union. During their time at the WPOE site, the crew had the opportunity to operate cranes, bulldozers, excavators and backhoes. Each crew member took turns operating each piece of equipment on their own, moving mass amounts of earth from place to place and operating a crane, moving barrels from location to location. Joe Cuppett said “This by far was the best day yet, and I’m going to try to join the WPOE as soon as I get done with YouthBuild.”

    The Uniontown Youthbuild initiative comes by way of an $822,673 grant received by the Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board. This endeavor is to provide youth (ages 18-24) with a comprehensive construction-training program, and will offer Energy Readiness Training to provide a basic understanding of current environmental issues and green building education.  Youth will also be made aware of what green jobs are available in the local community.  The current Youthbuild crew consists of Crystal McDonald, 23, of Menallen; Jon Cuppett, 19, of McClellandtown; Fred Barnett, 20, of Uniontown; and Joe Cuppett, 22, of Brownsville.

  • PIC Summer Youth Work Programs A Success!

    This summer the Private Industry Council successfully managed two summer youth work experience programs. The Summer Youth Employment and Youth Work Learning programs were the result of a partnership between the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. and the Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board. Collectively the programs provided 290 youth with meaningful and practical work experiences at local municipalities, school districts, townships, governmental offices, and nonprofit organizations throughout Westmoreland and Fayette Counties.

    Youth ages 16-18 participated in the Youth Work Learning Program. They were placed with school districts throughout Fayette and Westmoreland counties. Kalea Holmes, a student at Valley High School within the New Kensington-Arnold School District, learned that there is a proper way to wash walls. "I saw my mom wash walls before, but I didn't know there was a certain way you had to do it," she said. She also learned time management by juggling cheerleading practice and summer work. The Youth Work Learning Program provided participants with one day of career awareness and job search activities.

    Youth ages 18-24 participated in the Summer Youth Employment Program. They were placed in clerical, maintenance, custodial, and labor positions. Each worksite provided youth with a worksite orientation prior to starting their employment. Supervising staff modeled positive work ethics while providing youth the opportunity to learn new skills.

    Both programs also provided youth the opportunity to work closely with existing employees to learn valuable transferrable skills and the expectations for entry level hiring. All participants were evaluated by their worksite supervisor and provided feedback on their performance.

    Victoria Kenes, who also participated last year, said "I have learned many things in this program that have helped prepare me for college as well as everyday life. This program allowed me to learn the skills to become more confident in speaking with the public and has also helped to sharpen my skills in organization and time management."

    Butch Hower, maintenance supervisor for participants at Friendship Hill National Historic Site, taught participants trail maintenance, how to properly operate machinery, and the importance of wearing appropriate safety gear. Participants at Fort Necessity worked in the Sales and Interpretation Departments. Youth spent their day either assisting visitors, giving tours dressed in period costumes, or participating in soldier reenactments.

    Work Sites like Greater Latrobe Community Network (GLCN), a non-profit, volunteer-run project, allowed summer youth participants to embark on new and innovative projects. Summer Youth Employment program participants Nick McCurdy, Scott Miller and Robin Doherty assisted in every aspect of GLCN's latest project. Site supervisor, Jack Doherty said, "The GLCN's latest undertaking is its most ambitious yet. The fourth quarter of this year will see the beta launch of LatrobeTV.com." According to Doherty, "LatrobeTV will be a virtual television channel available for 24/7 online viewing". The summer youth participants helped choose and configure necessary hardware and tested more than 25 pieces of video editing software. They also had the opportunity to choose the best programs for GLCN to purchase, then installed and configured them for production use. In addition, they captured and edited important community events including the Latrobe Farmers Market, the Fourth of July Parade and the Twin Lakes Arts and Heritage Festival. Participant Scott Miller said, "I especially liked the time we got to spend out on location shooting videos, then coming back and editing them into broadcast ready programs."

    Several participants were hired by their sites as employees because of their exemplary work while in the program, demonstrating the level of professional experience they gained. Meghan Howard was hired by the Fayette County Government with the Recorder of Deeds as a Department Clerk II. Jeffrey Williams was hired with the Goodwill of Southwest Pennsylvania as a truck driver.

    Participants Katie Walter, who worked with Bushy Run Battlefield, in Harrison City, and Jestine Woods, who worked with the Mon Valley NAACP Office, were chosen to be PA Youth Ambassadors and will receive training in the coming weeks to assist in running the Youth Services Academy, set to take place in October at the Penn State Conference Center. Woods and Walter will be part of the youth voice, sharing with adults ways to encourage youth project and program recruitment and retention. Woods is a member of the Monessen Youth Council and a senior at Monessen High School. Walter is enrolled at Slippery Rock University.

    The Summer Youth Employment and Youth Learning Programs were funded by a combination of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families dollars. With these two programs Private Industry Council and Westmoreland Fayette Workforce Investment Board continued the longstanding history of preparing youth for advancements in their educational and professional pursuits. Both programs not only provided the participants with an opportunity to earn money, but also prepared them for the world of work.

    Visit our Facebook page for more pictures.

    (From left to right): Jerret Belt (PA CareerLink), Eboni Ramsey (IU1), Vicki Kenes (IU1), Sarah Krueger (Goodwill), and Hannah Goldsberry (PA CareerLink).
    (From left to right): Jerret Belt (PA CareerLink), Eboni Ramsey (IU1), Vicki Kenes (IU1), Sarah Krueger (Goodwill), and Hannah Goldsberry (PA CareerLink).
    (From left to right) Butch Hower, a maintenance Work Site supervisor at Friendship Hill and Fort Necessity National Historic Sites, shows Summer Youth participant Buddy DeLorenzo how to trim dead branches off of trees along the entrance to Friendship Hill Workers also helped with lawn maintenance and clearing trails.
    (From left to right) Butch Hower, a maintenance Work Site supervisor at Friendship Hill and Fort Necessity National Historic Sites, shows Summer Youth participant Buddy DeLorenzo how to trim dead branches off of trees along the entrance to Friendship Hill Workers also helped with lawn maintenance and clearing trails.
    Summer Youth participants Nick McCurdy and Robin Doherty assisted with the creation of LatrobeTV.com, a new and innovative project, while placed with the Greater Latrobe Community Network.
    Summer Youth participants Nick McCurdy and Robin Doherty assisted with the creation of LatrobeTV.com, a new and innovative project, while placed with the Greater Latrobe Community Network.
    Summer Youth participant Stephanie Sanner welcomes visitors to the Mount Washington Tavern, a landmark at Fort Necessity National Battlefield, in Farmington, PA.  Sanner along with her coworkers split their time between dressing in period costumes and acting as interpreters or assisting at the Interpretive and Education Center front desk.
    Summer Youth participant Stephanie Sanner welcomes visitors to the Mount Washington Tavern, a landmark at Fort Necessity National Battlefield, in Farmington, PA. Sanner along with her coworkers split their time between dressing in period costumes and acting as interpreters or assisting at the Interpretive and Education Center front desk.

     

  • PIC Hires a New Assistant Director of Education

    Tim Yurcisin, president of the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc., is pleased to announce that Janet Ward has been hired as the Private Industry Council's assistant director of education, effective August 31, 2010.

    Janet is a graduate of Edinboro University with a Bachelors of Science in Secondary Education and has received additional leadership training from Duquesne University and the Coro Center for Civic Leadership.

    Janet brings to the Private Industry Council thirteen years experience in education management. Prior to accepting employment with PIC she was director of New Century Career Services where she administered the apprenticeship training program for the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Tooling Machining Association. Her previous positions also include director of training operations and training services manager for New Century Careers and project manager of the Manufacturing 2000 Program for Steel Center AVTS. Janet's accomplishments include receiving the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Pittsburgh Chapter of the NTMA and the Manufacturing 2000 Program she managed being recognized in FORTUNE MAGAZINE as one of the premier workforce development initiatives in the United States.

    In announcing Janet's employment with PIC, Tim Yurcisin expressed: "We are pleased to welcome Janet to our organization. She is coming to us with the experience and background to assist us in growing our Education Division. In particular, she will be focusing on our initiatives to move individuals into renewable energy and energy efficient jobs in Fayette County."