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Clarion University of PA and Edinboro University of PA began a collaborative effort in spring 2013 to bring workforce training and curricula to dislocated and underemployed workers. With no community college presence in Pennsylvania's northwest region, which includes the counties of Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Clarion, Forest, Warren, Jefferson, Elk, and McKean, the two universities have taken a collaborative leadership role in workforce development in this area. The intent of the program is to expand and coordinate the existing academic and support services across both campuses and to introduce a newly designed Northwestern Pennsylvania Career Pathways Project to meet the educational and skill-building needs of dislocated and underemployed workers and others seeking educational opportunities for career advancement.

The primary goal of the Career Pathways Project is to assist individuals who are in transition to set career goals, prepare to meet those goals through course work and other training and to seek employment. A great advantage of the program is that the students will have access to a career coach who will work with them one-on-one to help identify opportunities, select career options, and provide academic assistance and support.

Participants will benefit from personalized academic and student support, targeted orientations, peer and family support networks, and online services. Skill training necessary to be successful in health care, advanced manufacturing industries, and other areas will be provided by the two universities.

Students will be able to access the same training through either Clarion or Edinboro Universities and may select either institution based on their proximity and accessibility to the student. Both programs will cover topics such as career decision-making, math, reading, writing skills, job readiness, and the job search.

Some students may use the Career Pathways Project as a way to re-enter employment while others may choose to pursue additional training through certificate and/or degree programs. Exploratory courses in allied health, nursing, and technology will be offered as a means for students to consider the variety of careers that are housed within these fields. Depending on students' interests they can then pursue degrees in the area of their choice including allied health, medical imaging sciences, nursing, rehabilitative services, respiratory care, applied technology, human services/social services, and more.

"Edinboro University is pleased to collaborate with Clarion University to offer a workforce readiness program to adult and dislocated workers in northwestern Pennsylvania," stated Dr. Denise Ohler, Assistant Dean, College of Science and Health Professions at Edinboro University. "We believe that this program will assist participants in gaining the skills and knowledge they need to return to satisfying careers through credential and career ladders and individualized plans for success."

"This is an outstanding opportunity for returning adult students to pursue programs and credentials that lead to career growth," stated Dr. Chris Reber, Executive Dean of Venango College of Clarion University. "The project provides a personalized approach to serving students through certificate and/or degree programs."

The two universities have also partnered with several local service agencies to reach potential students who can benefit from the program. These include CareerLink, Titusville Community Development Agencies, the Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry, and Tourism, and area employers.

The initial Clarion University Career Pathways program begins Monday, October 21, 2013 and continues for five consecutive weeks from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Students may select one or more of the weekly programs. Fees for the training are $25/week or $99 for all five weeks. Interested individuals may contact Ms. Tammy M. Beach, Coordinator of Continuing Education at Venango College, at 814-393-1273 or email

The initial Edinboro University Career Pathways program begins Monday, October 28, 2013 and also continues for five consecutive weeks, with the same fees. Interested individuals may contact Ms. Sabra Jefferson, secretary for the Office of Continuing Education at 814-732-2544 or email

10/8/2013 8:00 AM

Clarion University and Edinboro University team up to serve dislocated and underemployed workers in Northwestern PA