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Community leaders link business to education

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Sentinel photo by ERIN THOMPSON
Mifflin County Academy of Science and Technology Administrative Director Barry King, right, discusses ongoing initiatives during a Business and Education Committee meeting held Thursday at The Academy.

LEWISTOWN– Leaders at The Academy of Science and Technology would like to increase employer influence throughout the building.

Jennifer Jackson, career coach with The Academy of Science and Technology told local business and education leaders that the school would like to see more banners and displays from businesses that partner with the school in the building — an initiative that would be undertaken by the school’s National Technical Honor Society.

Jackson and others discussed a number of ongoing and future initiatives that link students to employers during a Business and Education Committee meeting held Thursday. The event was catered by The Academy’s culinary students.

Jackson said the school is seeking tax deductible donations from employers that would allow students to participate in the National Technical Honor Society, and in exchange, they would receive a display in the school.

Supervisor of Adult Education Michael McMonigal said The Academy is planning an open house for its machining training programs.

McMonigal said The Academy is now the only school within the four-country region that offers machining training and the open house would introduce people to the program.

“We want to let them know what capabilities we have and how we can build these partnerships with employers and manufacturers,” he said.

The event will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 25 at The Academy.

Executive Director of the Juniata River Valley Chamber of Commerce Rhonda Kelley invited aspiring entrepreneurs to attend an Entrepreneur Meet-up, which is co-organized by the Mifflin County Industrial Development Corporation.

“We invite them to come and talk to entrepreneurs who are already doing it … it might be good exposure for students who think they may want to open a business,” she said.

The next meetup is at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at Shy Bear Brewing.

Kelley said the Chamber, in conjunction with Penn State Extension and CareerLink are also launching a monthly Business Breakfast Club that will offer recruiting tools and tips for today’s labor market.

The event will be at 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Penn State Extension office.

In other news, MCIDC Executive Director Nick Felice said a lack of workforce continues to be a challenge in regards to economic development.

“It’s a solid need across the board,” he said.

Felice said guest worker programs that would utilize legal immigrants are in the works locally.

“I think it’s probably likely you’re going to see something like that grow in Mifflin County and the region overall,” he said.

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