Monday, February 17, 2014

Job Training for the Next Generation

Guest blog from McCreary, Lehigh Valley Grand Prix, LLC

Education and workforce development are major issues impacting businesses throughout the country, and we face the same challenges here in the Valley. We are fortunate to have a skilled workforce that has attracted many major companies, including B. Braun, Ocean Spray, Sam Adams, Olympus - the list goes on and on for the companies that call Lehigh Valley their home. It is extremely important that the business community recognizes the need for quality education as a driver for the regions economic success.

The Allentown Chamber recently had the pleasure of hearing presentations from Dr. Russ Mayo, Superintendent of the Allentown School District and Sandra Himes, the Executive Director of the Lehigh Career & Technical Institute (LCTI). One thing is clear, state budgets are taking their toll on the educational system. While LCTI and many Charter Schools have found success through their ability to adapt to a rapidly changing education environment, the urban public institutions have not been so fortunate.

It was interesting to learn about two very different institutions and how they have developed their programming and curriculums to strive for success for the future. While LCTI works closely with employers to develop their programs, the public school system has less flexibility in adapting their curriculum. As education continues to be a hot topic throughout the country, the business community needs to keep a careful watch - our future is in our people and if the Public Education System does not get some assistance for the business community soon, it will not deliver the proper training to our students, and our future employees.

I urge The Chamber and the overall business community to continue to be involved with our educational system so we can continue to make the Lehigh Valley a premiere location for employers to continue to locate their businesses.

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