Welcome to the first issue of the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc’s e-newsletter. We are pleased to have this opportunity to bring news about workforce development in our region directly to your inbox. As a subscriber, you will receive quarterly e-newsletters and monthly lists of upcoming events. Thanks so much for subscribing!
In this first issue, we wanted to take the opportunity to introduce ourselves. With over two dozen programs, we have a lot to offer–and most folks know us for one or two things. You may be surprised by just how much we do!
Five Things to Know about PIC
What are the five most important things to know about PIC? Here’s our list:
- We have been serving southwestern Pennsylvania for almost three decades.
- We have programs for every age group.
- Though our name mentions Fayette and Westmoreland counties specifically, our programs reach other counties, too.
- Our programs are broken down into three divisions: Early Childhood Development, Education, and Workforce
If you have an education, training, or job search need, we are here to help you find a solution!
Building Tomorrow’s Workforce
This coming November the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. (PIC), will celebrate its 30th anniversary. Over those three decades, we’ve helped over 70,000 individuals through programming aimed at every age group, including infants, toddlers, K-12 students, young adults, and adults.
With over two dozen programs in three divisions (Early Childhood Development, Education, and Workforce Development), we often find that people know about only one or two aspects of what we do. For example, those who know us for getting adults into training and employment don’t always know that we also work with younger age groups as well. Or those who know about our Head Start program don’t always realize that we also provide employment assistance. We have so many programs that it’s difficult for folks to keep track of all that we do!
Simply put, however, we approach workforce development from a comprehensive, all-inclusive perspective. That’s why we serve so many different groups of people in so many different ways. For example, in 1994, we became the grantee for the Head Start in Fayette County. It probably seemed like an odd fit-when we were founded, our primary mission was to administer employment and training programs for economically disadvantaged individuals and to oversee the operation of the Federal Jobs Training Partnership. What does employment and training have to do with early childhood education and development? Our answer: everything.
One way to look at it is this: low-income families struggle to pay for childcare. By providing free quality care, we can empower parents to join the labor force and support their families. But the benefits of early childhood education to the workforce go much deeper-and are felt over the long term. In its annual Program Reach and Risk Assessment Report for the 2010-2011 school year, the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning noted:
“Children who are encouraged and supported through quality early care and education demonstrate significant progress in acquiring early learning skills, which can save schools money for special education and remediation costs. These children are more likely to graduate from high school, to attend college or quality job training programs, and be valuable members of the workforce. The benefits of quality early education to children and families translate into a more competitive workforce and greater tax base, while reducing public expenses in special education costs, public assistance, crime control and lost taxes.”¹
By providing high quality early education programs, we can have a huge impact on the workforce. And that’s just one way that we are building tomorrow’s workforce. We also have programs that help K-12 students better understand their strengths and how they fit into the world. Through homework help and fun, yet academically oriented, programming, we ensure that our students are able to achieve their goals.
Through literacy, training, and other education programs, we help young people and adults alike overcome barriers to employment-and those barriers can be extremely diverse and difficult. Our programs supply skills, guidance, and a helping hand to those facing great challenges.
¹”Program Reach and Risk Assessment: State Fiscal Year 2010-2011.” Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Public Welfare, Office of Child Development and Early Learning.
PIC’s Three Divisions
The Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette, Inc. (PIC), operates over two dozen programs in three divisions. Here’s a rundown of what those divisions entail.
Our Education Division includes: Adult Basic Education, Family Literacy, GED classes, after-school youth education, summer youth programs, and in-school work experience. The Education and Technology Institute, a department of the Education Division, offers diploma programs and other training to those seeking to advance their skills. Through our Education programs, we help make students as employable as possible.
Our Workforce Development Division is another essential component in our mission to build tomorrow’s workforce in southwestern Pennsylvania. Through the Employment, Advancement, and Retention Network (EARN), we address the needs of individuals receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). We are an operating partner of the Alle-Kiski, Fayette, and Westmoreland PA CareerLinks®. We provide job coaching assistance and supportive services to individuals with disabilities through a contract with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), and we help businesses secure government contracts through our Government Procurement Assistance Program. We also administer the System for Assessment and Group Evaluation (SAGE), a comprehensive assessment system used by job seekers, career counselors, and employers.
Last but not least, our Early Childhood Development Division includes Head Start/Early Head Start of Fayette County and PA Pre-K Counts classrooms. We are very proud of the recognized excellence of these programs. Our Head Start program was named one of ten national Centers of Excellence in 2010, and this allowed us to create the Social-Emotional Early Developmental Success (SEEDS) program, which provides training to parents and early childhood development/education professionals.
Online Tools for Planning Your Job Search
Through everything we do, we want to help connect you to all the resources out that can help you succeed. As part of that effort, we will bring tools, resources, and other cool items to your attention in our e-newsletters–starting here.
There are millions and millions of websites out there, and it can be difficult to sift through all the junk to find the gems. If you’re searching for a career path, one great online resource is CareerOneStop, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. It provides easy-to-use tools to explore career options, put together resumes, figure out what training you need to reach your goals, and much more.
It’s a great resource to keep in your arsenal–and a great place to get started if you’re trying to find a career path or trying to help your kids find the right direction. Look for recommendations on other great online resources in future e-newsletters!
Upcoming issues will delve deeper into programs and will explore all sorts of cool and timely topics related to workforce development, education, training, job searches, and early childhood development. We want to know what you want to know! What would you like to read about in our upcoming issues? This is your chance to put in your requests. Just e-mail your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.