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Connect industry, youths (Letter to the Business Editor)

Connect industry, youths

The Sept. 28 article "Production Jobs Rare For Young Workers" sheds light on a  growing concern for some of the region's key employment sectors -- older workers  with jobs in manufacturing, education and health care are expected to leave jobs  faster than employers can find qualified younger workers to replace them.

As pointed out in the article, and in the report on which the article was  based, there's no question that when workers retire, they take with them a  lifetime of skills, knowledge, experience and relationships, and employers will  struggle -- and spend -- to bridge that gap.

But overlooked and vital to stress is that there is no lack of opportunity  for young people to enter these key sectors. Young people, rather, aren't  choosing these careers, often opting instead for a four-year college degree.  It's this disconnect that will ultimately impact the regional economy.

Understanding and bridging that disconnect has been the focus of numerous  youth-focused collaborations throughout Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

The Allegheny Conference on Community Development and the Energy Alliance of  Greater Pittsburgh recently released a workforce analysis emphasizing the need  for a cooperative investment to skill young talent for high-demand, hard-to-fill  occupations in the energy sector.

And the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board sees career and technical  centers as a key component to fulfilling the needs of the region's employers now  and in the future. By connecting employers and training providers, and educating  youth about the opportunities available in the region, we are seeking to build  the pipeline of qualified workers prepared to step in where others leave  off.

STEFANI PASHMAN CEO, Three Rivers Workforce  Investment Board


Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

About Partner4Work

Nationally recognized for innovation, Partner4Work delivers workforce solutions for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County to ensure the current and future needs of businesses and job seekers are met. As stewards of more than $20 million in public and private workforce funds, Partner4Work oversees and funds workforce programs for adults, dislocated workers and youth; educates the community through robust labor market analytics; and implements innovative solutions to the region's systemic workforce challenges. Partner4Work bridges the gap between people looking for work and companies in need of talent. More information is available at www.partner4work.org.