PROGRAM – Courtney Fasnacht, Executive Director, Manufacturers and Employers Council, Inc.
The Manufacturers and Employers Council (MAEC) is the 501C3 branch of the Manufacturers and Employers Association, which was started in 1964 in Schuylkill County to provide services and programs to large and small manufacturers in the county. The goal of MAEC is to help develop a qualified workforce. Courtney described some of the many ways they do this, most notably with the YES (Your Employability Skills) program. This program targets seniors in high school and is a one credit program covering 120 hours taken during the regular school day. It is an elective course that provides students with real, hands-on training that will be applicable to the actual workplace.
There are various topics within the YES program including Communications, Health and Safety, Personal Development, Quality and Technology, and Teamwork. The Council coordinates up to 4 tours of local businesses for the YES classes where students get an inside look at how an industry functions and the careers available to them when they are ready to enter the workforce.
Courtney told us that students earn a Certification from the YES program upon receiving a high school diploma and meeting the following qualifications: they must achieve a Reading and Math score equivalent to Grade 9 level on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE); Achieve a Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test score of 21 or better; Successfully pass a 6-panel drug screening; have attendance of 95% or better; and complete 120 hours of coursework. Over 4,500 students have participated in the YES program since 2006, with about 65% of them going off to college.
Another program that MAEC coordinates is the Schuylkill County Career Fair, which will be held this year at Martz Hall on April 19. This is an event where students have an opportunity to speak directly with local employers, post-secondary educational institutions, and the military about careers.
Thanks Courtney for an interesting program.