Ridgway Area High School students headed into the community for their quarterly “Career Cruise” experience. To prepare for the future, students have been exploring careers in the classroom. To reinforce what they have learned in the classroom, students toured local companies to learn about careers in Elk County. Stops on the tour included North Central PA Regional Planning and Development Commission, Metal Powder Products, the Elk County Courthouse, and 97.5 The Hound. Patalano’s Place II sponsored lunch for the students and shared tips for owning a small business in the area. At each location students learned about the variety of career opportunities and the skills and training they would need for each. This program was coordinated by the Community Education Center’s DISCOVER Partnership, a business and education partnership aimed at creating an awareness about local opportunities and forming connections between students and local companies. For more information contact the CEC at 781-3437 or email@example.com.
St. Marys- Penn Highlands Elk partnered with the Community Education Center’s (CEC) DISCOVER Partnership to offer “Healthcare Careers Day” for local students in Elk County. Those in attendance represented ECC, Johnsonburg, Ridgway, and St. Marys area high schools. Throughout the day, staff at Penn Highlands engaged students in hands-on tours and demonstrations in selected departments. Groups visited the Pulmonary Function Testing Lab, Radiology, Rehabilitation, and the Operating Room. Following the tours, hospital staff demonstrated patient care on “SimMan,” a life-sized mannequin used for training. Hospital administration was on hand to discuss the demand for a range of careers in healthcare and the education required for each. They also answered a multitude of questions relating to the healthcare field. All in attendance got a behind-the-scenes glimpse into careers in healthcare. Students hope to use the information that was learned as they plan for life after graduation. For more information on this and similar programs offered by the DISCOVER Partnership, contact the CEC at (814) 781-3437 or visit communityedcenter.com. For more information on careers at Penn Highlands Elk, visit www.phhealthcare.org.
PRESS RELEASE: December 9, 2015 by Tracey Williams
On December 9th, 2015, the Leadership Elk County (LEC) participants had the opportunity to learn about Elk County's history. The intent of this learning opportunity was to learn about how Elk County has evolved and been preserved. The day began at the St. Marys Historical Society with Michelle Bogacki, an alumni of LEC program, welcoming everyone.
Ray Beimel, Historical Society Director and owner of Beimel Photography, started the day showing a slideshow presenting the history of Elk County. He touched on the resources that were imperative to the land such as railroads, mining, farming, rivers, and lumber. He pointed out that Elk County was extremely thick with forest and the first tree that fell was in Iron Run. He continued to present interesting facts regarding the history of how businesses began and how some are still viable today. Also, Ray gave a tour of the Historical Society to the participants. Items such as old clothing, medical supplies, and pictures of people and businesses of the past were shown to the group to provide a look into the early history of Elk County.
Prior to the day’s meeting, participants were asked to conduct an interview with a person who they found fascinating such as a community leader, business owner or a relative. They were to engage in conversation about this persons experiences and how things have changed over time in Elk County. Each participant summarized their interview and gave a three minute presentation to the group. After presentations were given, it was evident that in order to understand history to its fullest extent one needs to experience it.
After the presentations were given, the class went on a tour of downtown St. Marys led by David Larkin, LEC alumni. The first stop was Tablespoons Cafe' & Deli which was previously Smith's Sport Store. The group then walked around viewing historical locations learning about the work of the Heritage Preservation Group that has helped to enhance the appearance of downtown St Marys.
The group then made a stop in Ridgway at the Elks Club on South Street where they enjoyed lunch sponsored by the Main Street Program. Michelle Bogacki, an alumni of the LEC program and current Main Street Manager, was introduced. Michelle took the group on a walking tour of Ridgway’s Historical District. Stops were made at the Udarbe Complex, the Towers Victorian Inn, the Cooke's-Murphy House, the Ridgway Public Library, YMCA, Elk County Historical Society, the Home of Tom Knotes, the Welcome Center, and various shops along Broad and Main Streets. Michelle pointed out to the group buildings that had recent renovations, old woodwork in the buildings from the Hyde & Murphy Company, and discussed upcoming projects.
The group ended their day at the Ridgway Elks where they began discussion regarding upcoming project that the LEC class will be partnering on with local non-profit organizations. These projects include a Community Supported Agriculture/Community Garden, Ridgway Beautification Project, Fundraising and Development, Mental Health/Aging Awareness Campaign, and a Senior Outreach Program. Each participant will be assigned to a group to work on a project after the next meeting in January 2016.
For more information regarding the LEC program, contact the Community Education Center at (814) 781-3437 or visit www.leadershipelkcounty.com.
Educators from Elk and McKean Counties recently participated in an “Educator in the Workplace” event at Domtar Paper Mill. Educators toured the facility and worked with Domtar staff and administration throughout the day. Educators were able to learn about the career opportunities at the mill and how what they teach in the classroom is applied on the job. After the experience, educators agreed that they were excited to share what they learned with their students and were impressed with the many opportunities and benefits the company brings to the area. This event was offered in partnership through the Community Education Center’s DISCOVER Partnership and the Potter County Education Council’s Business and Education Connect Program. Both programs are aimed at creating an awareness about local opportunities and forming connections between educators and local companies. For more information or to participate in a similar event, contact the CEC at 781-3437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community members and the general public are invited to the Bennetts Valley Senior Center on Wednesday, November 18th from 5:30pm-7:00pm to celebrate the debut of their recent project “Portraits in Objects and Tales: A Show and Tell of Days Gone By in Bennett’s Valley.” Over the past few months, Author PJ Picirillo and photographer Molly O’Brien have teamed up with the members of the Bennetts Valley Senior Center to reminisce about early life in Bennetts Valley. The residents shared tales and objects that reminded them of the past, and the artists assisted the seniors in documenting their stories through artwork that includes essays and photos. The seniors and artists invite you to view their artwork and join them on the evening of the 18th as they share their tales and objects and reminisce about “Days Gone by” in Bennetts Valley. No RSVP is necessary.
This project was made possible by the Arts in Education (AIE) Program. The AIE Program supports artist teacher partnerships, facilitates artist residencies in schools and social service agencies and provides professional development to teachers and artists to integrate the arts into the classroom curriculum.
The Arts in Education Partnership is a program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency. State government funding for the arts depends upon an annual appropriation by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and support from the National endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. The Arts in Education Partnership is administered in this region by Erie Arts & Culture.
Over 100 students from all area high schools in Elk and Cameron Counties participated in this year’s High School Engineering Day. Students began the day at Elk County Catholic High School, the event host, where they participated in activities lead by local engineers. Students then headed to local companies to see engineering in action. SGL Carbon Company, Keystone Powdered Metal Company, Metaldyne’s Ridgway and St. Marys facilities and GKN Sinter Metals all hosted students. This program was funded in part by a grant from the Palumbo Foundation and was offered through the Community Education Center’s DISCOVER Partnership, a business and education partnership aimed at creating an awareness about local opportunities and forming connections between students and local companies. For more information or to participate in a similar event, contact the CEC at 781-3437 or email@example.com.
Work-at-home professionals, small business start-ups and entrepreneurs invited to join Innovate Elk County Week
The week of November 16th-November 20th is Global Entrepreneurship Week, and a few individuals are teaming up with the Community Education Center (CEC) to host a local event called “Innovate Elk County Week.” Throughout the week, work-at-home professionals are invited to join a preview of a co-working/makerspace. Co-working spaces are shared work environments where professionals work independently, yet share office resources and collaborative ideas. Similarly, makerspaces are spaces for professionals to create products, share resources and expertise, and develop networks for innovative ideas. “These spaces are popping up around the world and they result in a really supportive and innovative work environment that an individual cannot get just by working alone from home,” says Travis Lesser, a St. Marys native and Entrepreneurship Instructor and Experiential Learning Entrepreneurship Coordinator at Penn State. Shared work space will be available from 8:30am to 6:00pm each day throughout the week of November 16th at the CEC in St. Marys. Between 6pm and 8pm Monday through Thursday, there will be various events, presentations and workshops related to entrepreneurship. Lou Radkowski, himself a work-at-home professional for a global IT company, is working with Lesser to promote the event. Radkowski says “This region’s economy was built with a fierce entrepreneurial spirit, and, not surprisingly, makerspaces are great economic drivers for rural areas. This week is a preview of what we hope to one day have as a permanent space.” New Leaf Initiative is one example from the State College area which has been operating this model for a number years. Lesser, also a small business owner, is a member of New Leaf Initiative and is partnering on their behalf with the CEC to hold events during Global Entrepreneurship Week. For more information, visit facebook.com/groups/innovateelkcounty or call the CEC at 781.3437.
The 2015-2016 Leadership Elk County (LEC) sessions have begun. On Tuesday, September 8th the participants were able to meet and greet each other and introduce their guests and corporate sponsors. Dinner was held at Aiello Café and sponsored by Aiello’s and Northwest Savings Bank.
The participants then gathered at The Pines in St. Marys the following day, where they began the first of their ten sessions. One session will be held each month. This first session was titled “Orientation.” Gary Svetz from Svetz Consulting lead the way by identifying each person’s individual personality style and encouraged participants to engage in activities that practiced team building strategies and better communication when identifying others’ personality styles. . A lunch was then provided by Creative Concrete by Herbstritt, LLC.
In the afternoon, Kate Brock, the Executive Director of the Community Education Center, provided statistics and data for Elk and Cameron County that was gathered by The Center for Rural Pennsylvania.
The LEC program is offered through the Community Education Center in partnership with the Ridgway/Elk County and St. Marys Area Chambers of Commerce. The ten month program is aimed at educating its participants in the strengths and weaknesses of the county in order to develop informed, civic oriented volunteers to help direct the future of Elk County. More information can be found at www.leadershipelkcounty.com.
The participates for this year are: Sharon Barbazenni sponsored by Northwest Savings Bank; Tina Clancy sponsored by Ridgway/Elk County Chamber of Commerce; Charlene Fledderman sponsored by St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce; Jason Gabler sponsored by Advantage Metal Powders; Tiffany Gausman sponsored by Northwest Savings Bank; Kathleen Geer sponsored by Northwest Savings Bank; Mike Herzing Jr. sponsored by Delta Airport Consultants, Inc.; Emily King sponsored by Farmers National Bank; Marcie Lynch sponsored by Friends of Congressman Thompson; Steven Manginell sponsored by the Lumber Heritage; Christina McClelland sponsored by Allegheny Coatings; Mary McGrath sponsored by McGrath CPA, LLC; Denise Michalowski sponsored by Dickinson Center, Inc.; Drew Nedzinski sponsored by County National Bank; Michelle Smith sponsored by Liberty Pressed Metals; Ashley Steele sponsored by St. Marys Auto Body; Tracey Williams sponsored by Dickinson Center, Inc.
CEC Offers Free Workshops For College Students
The Community Education Center’s DISCOVER Partnership is hosting a FREE workshop series open to local college students. This 5 workshop series is intended to prepare students for success in the workplace. With the help of local employers, students will explore topics such as preparing for job interviews, writing an employable resume, recognizing the qualities employers are seeking and using social media to their advantage. Workshops are open to students beginning their freshman year through recent college graduates. Attendees may register for the entire series or for individual workshops. Companies who employ college students are encouraged to consider sending these employees. Workshop schedules and descriptions are as follows:
Wednesday, July 29th 2015 (RSVP by Friday, July 24th)
The CEC welcomes company representatives interested in participating on employer panels for each of the trainings. For more information or to register as a participant or panel member, contact the Community Education Center 814-781-3437 or visit communityedcenter.com.
The Community Education Center, together with business,