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Workshop series builds relationships between employers and educators

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The Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC just wrapped up the Harrisburg Regional Education and Business Partnership Series: Making It Happen!, a multi-part series connecting the education and business sectors with the goal of addressing pertinent workforce development issues and the gaps between skills training and employment readiness.
The first of the four-session series focused on identifying problems and disconnects between education and business. Follow-up "solutions sessions" focused on career awareness and preparation, career acquisition, career retention and advancement, and entrepreneurship, tying in with the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Career Education & Work Standards, an electronic toolkit with implementation strategies starting as early as elementary school.
The sessions drew a mix of business people, educators and government officials who gathered for three-hour sessions to find out what local people are doing well to foster the relationship between education and business.
Part of every working session was dedicated to community networking in a "speed dating" format. Every attendee documented their connections and the resources they could provide for each other. The Chamber later followed up to see if projects and partnerships were underway, and to provide support to make them happen.

In May, the Chamber will host a celebration breakfast wrapping up the series where people will talk about the projects that came to fruition and were successful.

"We didn't want to recreate the wheel (with this series)," says Larissa Bailey, Government Relations Manager of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC. The idea was to get all the people working on different aspects of the same problem together to find a mutual solution.
The Harrisburg Chamber has also interacted with the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission to support early childhood education. "We support and fully advocate for early childhood education and realize it's an important part of workforce development," Bailey says.

Writer: Nicole Rupersburg
Source: Larissa Bailey, Government Relations Manager, Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC
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