Bald Eagle Area School District is part of a collaborative effort with the CBICC and other local business and educational partners to promote the CentreREADY initiative that encourages workforce education and career readiness. It’s a branch of the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County created to help foster a successful workforce for local students and businesses in the area.

This school year, two Bald Eagle Area High School students are part of the program. They are Lauren Wellar and Nick Zink. Eligible students involved in the program must first apply and will then graduate with a seal of career readiness after meeting criteria in six areas:

-work ethic
-tactfulness and manners
-teamwork
-communication skills
-critical thinking and problem solving
-understanding supervision and the world of work

“From those skills, students display their abilities in these areas by writing reflections, describing involvement in clubs, organizations or jobs; meeting certain GPA; and attendance criteria, as well as a follow-up with references on a few of the core skills,” said school counselor Janelle Reese, who works with other counselors at BEA to help prepare students.

“These are skills that are taught in each classroom with our teachers throughout the year,” Reese added. “In addition to that, Mrs. (Karen) Morse and myself do specific lessons on these career readiness skills with ninth through 12th-grade students. We also had our entrepreneurship panel this winter where each guest spoke to the importance of soft skills and what they look like in the workplace.”

Other partners in the campaign include Bellefonte, Penns Valley, Philipsbug-Osceola and State College area school districts; Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology; South Hills School of Business; PA CareerLink; and more. The county commissioners also announced Sept. 12 as CentreREADY Day.

According to a report from the CBICC, CentreREADY represents a community response to local workforce needs, better matching Centre County employers with employees who possess the desired core skills and competencies needed to fuel a 21st century workforce. Information went on to say that the campaign was established after finding core skills and technical skills were often cited as lacking in the local workforce.

“The CBICC was resolved to respond to the workforce needs of employers here, to find ways in which the community could begin to address the issue,” CBICC President and CEO Vern Squier said in a prepared statement.

The district’s May podcast includes more information about the CentreREADY program and the BEA students involved. View the podcast, here.