Local organizations educate parents and students on polytechnic jobs

On March 15, The Challenge Program, Inc. and partnering local organizations held a Polytechnic Career Awareness Event to educate parents and students on the jobs of the future.  For those of you who didn’t know, “polytechnic” is an umbrella term meaning “many technologies” and encompasses a diverse range of industries, from manufacturing and construction to healthcare and transportation.

If you missed the event, not to worry! Below are some highlights on the businesses who participated in last week’s event.

Manufacturing

Martin-Baker America

Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger

Martin-Baker America manufactures helicopter and ejection seats in Johnstown. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger

One of the signature sponsors for the event, and a major corporate sponsor of The Challenge Program, Inc., is Martin-Baker America. Did you know that the only site in America that manufactures helicopter and ejection seats is Martin-Baker America, located right here in Johnstown?

Global/SFC Valve

Bob Kirst and Nichole Sheets of Global/SFC Valve talk to interested attendees about careers in manufacturing. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

Bob Kirst and Nichole Sheets of Global/SFC Valve talk to interested attendees about careers in manufacturing. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

Another signature sponsor, and Challenge Program partner, Global/SFC Valve has lead the industry as manufacturer of high-pressure valves and fittings for the United States Navy. They’ve been located in Somerset, PA, for over 30 years and have positions to offer that can hire students right out of high school.

Riggs Industries

Shawn Kaufman and XXX of Riggs Industries. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

Shawn Kaufman and Karen Miller of Riggs Industries. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

Riggs Industries is another Challenge Program sponsor in the manufacturing and construction industry. They offer competitive wages and often look to hire students right out of local career & technology centers!

JWF Industries

Bill Polacek of JWF Industries. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

John Skelley of JWF Industries. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

JWF Industries is a local manufacturer that employs 450 people in Johnstown. Did you know that they offer full scholarships for the Penn Highland’s Welding Tech program each year?

North American Hoganas

North American Hoganas. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

North American Hoganas. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

North American Hoganas has plants in Johnstown & Holsopple. NAH operates the most integrated and state of the art metal powder manufacturing facilities globally. They offer career paths with generous benefits and some entry level jobs offer a pay of $19-$23/hour.

Corle Building Systems

Representatives from Corle Building Systems. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

Representatives from Corle Building Systems. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

Corle Building Systems, also a participating Challenge Program sponsor, is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of metal buildings. Corle offers on-the job training and employees can earn salaries of $35,000-$90,000.

Healthcare

Representatives from Grane Health. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

Representatives from Grane Healthcare. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

Representatives from Conemaugh Health System. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

Representatives from Conemaugh Health System. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

The healthcare industry will be the largest area of new job growth through 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Grane Healthcare & Conemaugh Health System are looking to employ everything from RNs to Medical techs to Physical Therapy Assistants—all programs that can be complete in 1-2 years. A remarkable statistic is that 3 months post-graduation, Conemaugh has a 100% placement rate of their most recent graduates—that says that these jobs are HERE and in high-demand.

Transportation

Norfolk Southern

Norfolk Southern's Juniata Locomotive Shop in Altoona employs approximately 1,000 people.

Norfolk Southern’s Juniata Locomotive Shop in Altoona employs approximately 1,000 people. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

Norfolk Southern operates 22,000 route miles in 22 states with a locomotive fleet of about 4,000 trains. Did you know that their Juniata Locomotive shop in Altoona employs about 1,000 people, most of their positions paying at $30/hour rates?

Utility

FirstEnergy. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

FirstEnergy. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

FirstEnergy shared their Power Systems Institute programs with attendees at the Polytechnic Career Awareness Event. These train employees in 2-year degree programs for line workers and substation electricians The best part? FirstEnergy will cover tuition costs and required materials for qualifying students!!

Construction

Constructor's Association of Western PA. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

Constructors Association of Western PA. Photo credit: Brittney Lybarger.

Two associations participated in the Polytechnic Career Awareness event that can help with training and apprenticeship programs to viable employment opportunities in the construction and the trades! Associated Builders & Contractors represents 21,000 employers nationwide, and Constructors Association of Western PA spoke about Future Road Builders—their virtual pre-apprenticship program that can help your student find out if a high-paying career in highway construction is right for them.

Education

Several educational resources were also on-hand to discuss the types of training and education that students need to land careers in the aforementioned industries. Representing secondary education were Somerset County Technology Center and Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center.  Attending on behalf of post-secondary institutions were Penn Highlands Community College, Cambria Rowe Business College, and WyoTech. Check out their websites to learn more!

Other resources available were PHEAA, which discussed financial aid options for some of these educational pathways, and PA Careerlink and JARI who work to bring training opportunities to local businesses and industries in need.

For more information about the Polytechnic Career Awareness Event, contact Sara Deyarmin at 814-533-7401 ext. 104 or deyarmins@tcpinc.org.