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Lackawanna Trail Students Get Jumpstart On Careers And Higher Education With State Grant

February 11, 2019

LA PLUME TWP. — Lackawanna Trail students will have the opportunity to get a jump on their careers and post-secondary education through a state grant and partnership with Keystone College. Department of Labor & Industry Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Eileen Cipriani announced Monday that Keystone received a $60,000 pre-apprenticeship PASmart grant while she visited the college. She stopped by the Networking II IT class and spoke with students using 3D printers in the Three-Dimensional Printing Center and visited teachers and students in the Pre-K Counts class at the Oppenheim Family Children’s Center. The children’s center will use the grant through a partnership with the Lackawanna Trail School District. High school student pre-apprentices will work on a childhood development associate credential once the program is underway. Lackawanna Trail hopes to begin with six students, said Director of Special Education Amie Talarico. The Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center, where Trail students attend, does not offer an early childhood education class, said Talarico, who is also an adjunct professor at Keystone. She sees this collaboration as a way to fill that void. At high school graduation, the students will have earned an associate credential that includes transferable credits to Keystone or any major institution. There is no cost to the students because of the state grant. “It’s a career pathway for individuals who entered into early childhood education to get their bachelor’s degree,” said Cipriani. With the grant, Keystone immediately will begin developing curriculum for the program, said Fran Langan, Ed.D., dean of professional studies. “When they graduate, they can immediately be qualified for an entry-level position in an early childhood program,” she said. “They will have the competencies to work effectively with children.” The statewide grants, which are part of Gov. Tom Wolf’s bigger plan to invigorate the state workforce at every age, total $161,111 for apprenticeships and $45,000 for Next Generation Industry Partnerships to help target every Pennsylvanian. “We want everybody to be a vibrant partner in our workforce in Pennsylvania,” she said. Contact the writer: kbolus@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100 x5114; @kbolusTT on Twitter

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