Wolf administration official visits MCAST

LEWISTOWN — Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani visited the Mifflin County Academy of Science and Technology Tuesday and highlighted Gov. Tom Wolf’s PAsmart proposal to prepare students with the education and job skills that local employers need in the global economy.

“Investing in career and technical education at schools like Mifflin County Academy of Science and Technology ensures that our workers and students get the real-world skills they need for in-demand, 21st century jobs,” Cipriani said. “It is our goal that by 2025, 60 percent of Pennsylvanians will have some form of postsecondary education and training. Gov. Wolf has proposed historic new investments to improve access for Pennsylvania students and workers to education, training and career readiness programs.”

With employers expanding in Pennsylvania, Wolf has made education and job training a top priority for his administration, Cipriani said in a press release. In his 2018-19 budget, the governor proposed PAsmart — a new workforce development proposal to invest $50 million for STEM and computer science education, support hands-on technical education programs and encourage employers and schools to coordinate together to help students of all ages get the skills employers need.

Cipriani toured the Academy’s job training programs, including the advanced precision machining, mechatronics, as well as the adult practical nursing and CDL labs.

Later in the day, she visited the school’s co-op program at Noerr’s International in Lewistown, and spoke with a student in the auto service program, as well as Noerr’s service manager, who is on the Academy’s Automotive Mechanics’ Occupational Advisory Committee.

“Promoting career and technical education programs like these at Mifflin County Academy of Science and Technology ensures that we have a job-ready workforce to meet local employers’ needs, Cipriani said. “In addition to academic proficiency, students and adults train using the latest techniques on industry-standard equipment, and the academy works closely with local employers to design programs to ensure that students are work-ready upon graduation, and that job seekers have the skills they need to obtain good, middle class jobs.”

“The Academy provides both secondary and adult students with in-demand technical skills, which are crucial to the success of Pennsylvania’s economy,” Academy Administrative Director Dan Potutschnig said. “Gov. Wolf’s PAsmart initiative further highlights the importance of workforce training. By working closely with business and industry, we will be able to address the local and regional workforce needs.”

The Academy “does a great job preparing its students for the workforce,” Ken Messerman, service manager at Noerr’s International, said. “As a member of the Academy’s Automotive Mechanics’ Occupational Advisory Committee, I can say first-hand that the school works closely with local businesses to design programs that meet the real-world work needs of local employers.”