November & December 2022 – Mid-November 2022 marked the kickoff for the Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board’s (WFWIB) 2022-2023 cohort of Teacher In the Workplace (TIW) in Westmoreland County.
The TIW initiative provides local public school district educators and administrators with exploration in Manufacturing, Healthcare, Business Services, Technology, and the Trades to strengthen their classroom instruction related to career readiness. TIW gives local businesses the opportunity to collaborate with professionals from K-12 institutions, career and technology centers, and post-secondary organizations to support curriculum development and strengthen educators’ understanding of what students need to be prepared to enter the workforce.
Though the last WFWIB TIW activities took place in early 2020, many of the benefits for educators and employers remain the same. By participating, educators and administrators earn Act 45 and Act 48 credits, connect to a supportive community, and participate in company tours, job shadowing experiences, and collaboration with fellow educators and business leaders. For involved businesses, TIW provides the unique opportunity to raise awareness surrounding their business needs and make an impact on classroom instruction to ensure relevancy. TIW businesses additionally provide business facility tours, job shadowing for educators, and presentations to local students and educators in the classroom.
“Teacher In the Workplace gives teachers the opportunity to see firsthand the connection between the workforce and their curriculum,” said WFWIB Youth Program Specialist Madeline Butina.
To support a successful program design, the WFWIB partnered with the Westmoreland County Forum for Workforce Development (WCFWD), Westmoreland Intermediate Unit (WIU), and SWPA BotsIQ. With WFWIB Youth Program Specialist Madeline Butina leading program efforts, each partner assisted with the program design, implementation, and outreach, which began mid-October to enroll educators and businesses for the November 15 and 18 kickoffs.
On November 15, 54 educators and administrators along with staff from the WFWIB, WCFWD, WIU, and BotsIQ and several business representatives convened to learn more about the program, network with fellow school district representatives, and participate in learning opportunities. Specifically, educators and administrators received a virtual reality tour of Redstone Presbyterian SeniorCare’s facility, heard from an industry and apprenticeship panel, welcomed keynote speaker Bill Flanagan (Chief Corporate Relations Officer of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development), and participated in a group team building activity to get them excited for upcoming events.
Following the educator and administrator kickoff, WFWIB hosted a convening specifically for interested businesses. Bringing together 8 business representatives, this TIW event walked through the program and what businesses can expect moving forward. Business representatives additionally heard from BotsIQ Executive Director Michel Conklin and General Carbide Human Resource Manager Jessica Gardner on best practices businesses should keep in mind when hosting company tours and job shadowing. Before concluding, businesses listened to a panel of educators speaking on how to best bridge the gap between classroom and industry.
WFWIB TIW activities will continue this month with local business tours and career and technology center collaboration for educators and administrators on December 15, 2022. For more information on this initiative please reach out to WFWIB Executive Director Janet Ward by email at email@example.com or by phone at 724-755-2145.