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Centre County Schools Launch CentreREADY

CentreREADY Some State College Area High School graduates next spring will be more than ready to enter the workforce.


They’ll be CentreREADY-certified.


This fall, the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County joined the county’s five school districts and two career/technical institutions in launching the CentreREADY program, a collaborative initiative aimed at helping companies hire employees with desired core skills and competencies.


In addition to State College Area School District, Bald Eagle Area, Bellefonte Area, Penns Valley Area and Philipsburg-Osceola Area school districts are participating. Other members are the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology and the South Hills School of Business and Technology.


Local employers spurred the CentreREADY’s development by telling the CBICC of their concern about a workforce skills gap. Under CentreREADY, each institution pledges to teach 21st century workforce skills as part of their curriculum offerings, assessing proficiency in six core categories: work ethic, tactfulness/manners, teamwork, communication, critical thinking/problem-solving, and understanding supervision/world of work.


For students who choose the program, a CentreREADY certification will indicate to employers that a job candidate possesses essential skills. At State High, CentreREADY will be available to students enrolled in Career and Technical Center classes.


Bob O'Donnell signs CentreREADY “Technical skill training is critical for the development of a strong workforce,” CTC Director Sharon Perry said. “Equally, if not more importantly, interpersonal/soft skills/21st century skills are often cited as the most critical look for employers. To be successful in a future career, students need to know, understand, and be able to demonstrate mastery of both technical and interpersonal/soft skills/21st century skills.”


Perry noted that students striving to grow in both areas “are positioning themselves for professional achievement and future success.”


“To hone in on these interpersonal/soft skills/21st century skills in collaboration with other educational institutions, industry, community agencies, and the CBICC,” Perry said, “will hopefully collectively educate and impress upon our youth, their families, and our community of the importance and value the development of these skills bring not only to themselves, but to their future career, and ultimately to our community.”


By Chris Rosenblum

Photos by Nabil K. Mark