Monday, April 11, 2011

Career Week in Pittsburgh Looks at Future

Imagine! Career Week kicked off its weeklong effort to show students throughout the region that there are many different career paths open to them with a gathering of those who create jobs and train future workers. Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board sponsors the event.

Governor Tom Corbett delivered the keynote address and called on those gathered to think of innovative ways to link area business with education providers. He told a story of a manufacturing firm in Southwestern Pennsylvania that rejected job applicant after job applicant because they did not have the needed math skills. The company turned to the local school district and offered to buy them new math books to make sure what they needed was part of the curriculum. The school district rejected the idea. Corbett said too often “we are teaching to the 20th century while living in the 21st century.”

Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware CEO Daniel Fitzpatrick agreed with the governor. He told those gathered there are jobs in the state that remain open because qualified candidates are not applying. Patrick went on to say economic development organizations and city leaders too often focus only on increasing the number of college grads in their region. “But the bottom line is we can’t forget about career training and technical skills because that is an opportunity for us as a commonwealth and as a country to catch up, so it is important that this be about academics and job training,” said Fitzpatrick.

Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board also honored several students for essays they submitted. Among them was Deer Lakes Middle School student Eric Stresky who wants to be a veterinarian when he grows up and Marcus Colella who wrote about becoming a radiologist. “Having the opportunity to help others and to help them recover is exciting,” says Colella.

Lisa Stabryla says she hopes to become a civil engineer. “It’s a male dominant field but I feel that in today’s society women are going to start coming out and doing better things,” says Stabryla. The Carrick High School senior says her dream is to design a bridge.

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