GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2018 - 21

GreaterReadingChamber.org

Building Bridges Between
School and Work:
A Call to Action

O

n November 30, 2017, a breakfast symposium, Building
Bridges Between School and Work, was convened at the
Crowne Plaza Reading to engage the Greater Reading business and education communities in the efforts of the Berks County
Career Pathways Alliance. Sponsored by the Workforce Development Board, Berks Business Education Coalition, Greater Reading
Chamber Alliance, and Berks County Intermediate Unit, over 300
attendees heard compelling statistics and stories from business
leaders; school superintendents; and former and current students who
communicated the connection between career development, workforce development, and economic development.

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At the close of the symposium, Dr. George Fiore, Superintendent
of the Kutztown Area School District, called businesses and higher
education institutions to action: "The Berks County Career Pathways
Alliance coordinates the collective resources of the county to create
opportunities for students from kindergarten to grade 12 to engage
in career exploration, internships, mentorships, vocational training,
and much, much more. We have heard from our business leaders that
our community is in dire need of a skilled workforce to replace the
nearly 7,000 manufacturing jobs and healthcare vacancies anticipated
in the next several years. School districts, business leaders, and local
organizations must join forces to address this issue for the benefit
of our students' and county's economic future." Fiore challenged
these organizations to support school districts by providing valuable
workplace and post-secondary experiences and by consulting with
schools as they redesign their curriculum to support Career Pathways.
Alliance leaders in attendance emphasized the need for action to
ensure the local economy can grow and thrive. Randy Peers, President
and CEO of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, stressed just how
high the stakes were: "Everything that we believe in, everything that
we care about, everything that we like to promote about Berks County
being so special is at risk if we don't solve this equation and that's why
the business community has to step up."
Industry, business, nonprofit, and higher education organizations
wishing to support the efforts of the Career Pathways Alliance should
contact Mr. Dan Richards, BCIU Professional Development and
Curriculum Director, or Mrs. Connie Skipper, BCIU Professional
Development and Curriculum Assistant Director, at 610-987-8421.
21


http://www.GreaterReadingChamber.org http://www.PKBenefits.com http://www.rmpalmer.com/easter/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Winter2018

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