Rebuilding Lancaster County’s Workforce One Student at a Time
by Dr. Susan Wienand, Work-Based Learning & Outreach Coordinator at Lancaster County Career & Technology Center
At the end of the 2021-2022 school year 253 students were employed through the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center’s Advanced Placement Internship (API) and Cooperative Education (Co-op) program with more than 80% being offered permanent positions upon graduation. So far for the 2022-2023 school year, 136 students have expressed an interest and met the eligibility requirements to participate. Of this number, 106 are currently employed and out working one school day a week until mid-January. At that time, the number of days progresses to two then to three at the end of March until they are eventually working five days before the end of the school year.
Many of the companies and organizations that hire our students are repeat customers. They realize the need to grow their own talent pipeline and are willing to invest time and money to fill open positions within their organization by offering permanent, full-time positions upon graduation. Several dozen report that many of their current employees are graduates of the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center (LCCTC).
Through our API/Co-op program, our students gain early entry into the talent pipeline while bridging the gap. The API/Co-op program permits our full-day students, typically in 12th grade, to learn while they earn in real-world settings. Participating employers hire the students part-time during the school day. The students will complete tasks and practice/master skills under the direct supervision of a company representative. Our certified cooperative education coordinators check-in monthly with the employer and students to ensure training plans are being followed and concerns are addressed promptly.
Employers benefit by vetting students to ensure a good fit with the organization, meeting workforce needs, and giving back to the community. Students gain knowledge and skills and are exposed to situations not encountered in a classroom setting. The community gains productive members of society. A win-win-win situation for all. If your company is interested in participating, please contact Dr. Susan Wienand, the Work-Based Learning & Outreach Coordinator at email@example.com. We are currently seeking opportunities for our Architectural CAD, Photography & Digital Imaging, Interactive Media & Web Design, and Commercial Art students.
Since 1970, the LCCTC has been preparing high school students and adults to be productive members of society. The LCCTC draws students from all 16 school districts in the county for enrollment into our 32 full-day programs ranging from the construction and manufacturing trades to culinary and healthcare. The school’s mission is to prepare our students for skilled, innovative, and productive careers to meet the county’s workforce needs.
Dr. Susan Wienand
Work-Based Learning & Outreach Coordinator
Lancaster County Career & Technology Center