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.
Ninth grader Timothy Banks received the top prize of $1,000 for his idea to implement a “Day of Play” at the Jr./Sr. High School. Banks, along with 6 other freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors from CCHS, competed in the Challenge to Change contest which was run by the Community Education Center (CEC) and DISCOVER Partnership. Students entered the contest in the fall of 2014 as individuals or teams, generated ideas, and then created projects focused on making their community a better place to live. Students worked closely with community mentors during the year, and pitched their ideas to a panel of judges on Saturday, April 11th. Judges included Cameron County Commissioners Jim Thomas and Phil Jones, PA Wilds Entrepreneurship Center director Ta Enos, and CEC executive director, Kate Brock. Community Mentors included Heidi Aikens, Tina Solak, Bob Hostler, Andy Johnson, Jen Abriatis, Jeanmare Holjencin, Nelson Haas, and Jackie Lundy. Other student projects included a sports complex (Kendall Eckstrom, grade 9), a boxing club (Andrew Goss, grade 9), a rec center (Cheyenne Dar, grade 12), a food and clothing drive (Brady Thompson, grade 10), and community art classes (Zoe Kassman, grade 10, and Wysper Allen, grade 11). The contest was sponsored, in part, through the DCED Discovered in PA, Developed in PA grant program. For more information, contact the CEC at 877-672-3077.
Pictured left to right: Wysper Allen, Zoe Kassman, Brady Thompson (back), Andrew Goss, Timothy Banks, Cheyenne Dar, Kendall Eckstrom.
Community Education Center and DISCOVER Partnership of Elk and Cameron Counties Holding Challenge to Change Community Contest
In October of 2014, the DISCOVER Partnership of the Community Education Center (CEC), asked the students of Cameron County Middle-High School and students of Ridgway Area High School a couple of important questions: Are there things that you would like to see changed in your community? And if you had the chance, what would you do to make your community better?
Students who accepted this charge entered the Challenge to Change Contest as individuals or teams, generated ideas, and then created projects focused on making their community a better place to live. Students worked closely with community mentors during the year, and are now prepared to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. The top prize of $1,000 will be awarded to the student or team in each district with the highest scoring project.
The public is encouraged and welcomed to attend the presentation and award events. The Ridgway area students will present their projects on Saturday, March 28th from 11am to 2pm in the Ridgway Area High School cafeteria. The Cameron County students will present their projects on Saturday, April 11th from 10:30am to 2pm at the Cameron County High School Auditorium. Winners will be announced at these events. Please call the CEC at 814-781-3437 to reserve your seat.
The DISCOVER Partnership is the business and education program of the Community Education Center. The DISCOVER Partnership aims to grow the region’s most precious assets – our human capital and talent – by acting as a resource, a conduit, and implementer of career and education awareness programs which involve educators, businesses and the community. The program is funded (in part) by the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development’s Discovered in PA, Developed in PA grant program.
The Community Education Center, together with business,