Among the top competitive advantages a community can tout is a readily available workforce, particularly a skilled workforce. A skilled workforce is an incredible economic development driver in terms of retaining existing Greater Reading companies and attracting new ones. With this knowledge Greater Reading Economic Partnership (GREP) has made working with our workforce development partners a priority.
In 2009 and 2010 business retention and expansion interviews were conducted in Greater Reading--out of 96 company interviews, 47% identified lack of skills and more specifically, 26% identified lack of technical skills as a current workforce challenge.
With this knowledge, GREP along with our economic development partners identified the lack of skilled workers as a critical need to growing the economic prosperity of the Greater Reading community. We have continued to partner with the local career and technology centers (CTCs); Reading Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center, Berks Career and Technology Center and Reading Area Community College (RACC)--all of which offer customizable training and retraining programs for companies or individuals on state of the art equipment--to develop a marketing campaign geared to middle school and high school students and their parents to generate awareness about the opportunities and jobs available to persons who have technical skills.
Check out Pennyslvania Senator, Judith Schwank, talking about the importance of technical schools in the Commonwealth and the United States.
Visit Careersin2Years.com to learn more about this workforce development campaign.