14 September 2011

Business & Education Partner for a Strong Workforce

On October 7th, the York County Economic Development Corporation (YCEDC) will host the first annual Business & Education Partnership Roundtable. The event will bring together the business and education communities to discuss how to better work together to ensure student’s preparedness for the workforce. Positive business-education partnerships can provide students with relevant classroom and out of school experiences to help them step into the careers available within our community.

In 2009, YCEDC’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD) kicked off their Career Pathways/STEM initiative with Superintendents and business leaders. A list of recommendations was created and a leadership team was established with representation from the business and education communities to prioritize and oversee the implementation of the recommendations. The Business & Education Partnership Roundtable addresses the following recommendation:

     “The OWD will create a Business and School Collaboration Committee with a broad
     stakeholder group of business and education leaders (secondary and
     post secondary) to exchange information, establish needs, define expectations,
     set goals, determine the measures of accountability, and support the 
     CareerPathways/STEM Model. The model will be flexible, respect local
     control and allow for all levels of participation.”

The committee will meet annually in the fall for the Business & Education Partnership Roundtable. The information exchanged during the session will be tabulated and acted upon by the OWD and other relevant community partners. A mid-year status report will be presented at the Annual York County Workforce Development summit in May.

The 2011 Industry Cluster Analysis Update for York County will also be presented at the event. The analysis, updated every 5 years by YCEDC staff, identifies growth industries and is used as a planning tool. Context will be gained by framing the conversation of the Business & Education Partnership Roundtable around the cluster analysis, increasing the value of the discussions and its inevitable outcomes.

A highly skilled workforce is imperative for companies to remain competitive in today’s economy. This event will provide an opportunity for employers to work with educational leaders to impact the development of a high quality relevant workforce. We will be looking for creative ways for the employer community to support the schools and ultimately the students to build the future workforce for York County.

Those interested in attending the Business & Education Partnership Roundtable, on October 7, 2011 from 8:00AM-2:00PM at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center – York, should RSVP to Caitlyn Meyer at cmeyer@ycedc.org or (717) 846-8879 by September 23, 2011.

Caitlyn Meyer is the business development coordinator for the York County Economic Development Corp. She coordinates YCEDC activities related to the York County Economic Development Plan, seeks to work with local governments through the Municipal Outreach Program and works on business retention. Caitlyn earned her bachelor’s degree in history from York College of Pennsylvania in 2009 and has been with YCEDC since that time. Caitlyn lives and works in York City. She can be reached at cmeyer@ycedc.org or 717-846-8879, ext. 3053.

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