Career Connections

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Attending: Michael Bauer, Kay Ensle, Mario Fontanzza, Bill Hallock, Deborah Hepburn (for Tim McMahon), Susan Hileman, Cortney Huber, Lance Hummer, Mike Klapec, Deb Lutz, William Powell, Chris Reber, Randy Seitz, Karen Thomas, Marie Whipple, Thomas Wood


Absent: Doug Clark, Jon DeArment, Neil Donovan, Lisa Groner, Butch Hargenrader, Dave Hartley, Kyle Herron, Jennifer Kafferlin, Barry Kibbey, Dave Lott, Tim McMahon, Jerry Miller, Paul Newlin, Barry Reiser, Mike Shontz, Scott Wyman


7:35 am: Welcome


7:40 am:

Bill Hallock

·         The Industrial Technology model allows for contracts to be made with other partners and provides options to students. One student can go into a program without being in a large group.


Chris Reber

·         The partnership model started in Nursing and took off into Applied Technology. It gave the ability of a University to serve a rural community and meet a broad spectrum or work force needs where a traditional model doesn’t work.

·         The Venango Campus can provide general and business education courses and partner to meet work force needs.

·         Over 90% of Applied Technology students are employed after graduation.

·         The partnership model has incredible potential; Venango can continue to create partnerships within Applied Technology and can dynamically grow.

·         Technical concentrations can be added without undergoing the University review process and can quickly be tailored as in the Elk County Scenario.

·         This model is very well suited to meet needs within Marcellus Shale; an estimated 20,000 jobs will be created that require a degree.

·         It is important to have technical credit count towards an appropriate degree. At the appropriate time students can go on to a Bachelor degree. All of the technical credits of the Associate will count toward completion of the Bachelor degree.

·         Students will be able to complete their junior and senior year online while continuing to work.

·         The Bachelor of Technical Leadership will allow someone to move into a management or leadership roll in their area of technical expertise.

·         This model is already in place in the A.S.N to B.S.N program.

·         This is the core of how this campus grows and continues to meet workforce needs.

·         Community colleges are potential partners because they do not offer Bachelor programs.

·         The Verizon building across the road is for sale, if the environmental studies come back clear, the University is hoping to acquire it for use as a technical building.



Randy Seitz

·         Motion to approve 12.08.2009 meeting minutes.

Mike Klapec

·         Second motion to approve.

All Approve.


Bill Hallock

·         In the capstone course, “Issues in Industrial Technology”, the students final is to take their resume and apply changes to it to tailor it towards particular employment ads.

·         The Advisory Boards suggestions are taken and applied, such as the job profile taken by students, to prepare our students to be the best employees.

·         Bob Garrity who was the predecessor of Mario at Vo-Tech was previously the Chair and will need replaced.



Randy Seitz

·         As Vice Chair volunteers to move into Chair position.

All Approve


Bill Hallock

·         Mario Fontanazza nominated for Vice Chair.

All Approve


Bill Hallock

·         Venango tries to look at needs and doesn’t necessarily need to bring students here, we can partner with other facilities to fit the need.

·         35 people cam to the open house for the proposed Clarion Cohort, advertised for O-I dislocated workers. Many of those in attendance were over the age of 40 and the thought of going back to college scares them. The Trade Act provides 2 years tuition to dislocated workers.

·         We are now the 3rd college in the state approved to provide auctioneering curriculum.

·         The Auctioneering program fits will with the Associate of Applied Science.

·         The ‘new’ concentration “Mechatronics” is a combination of what was once Electromechanical and Robotics Technology. The graphic (in handout) was created to help give others an idea of what it is and why someone would want to hire a person with those skill sets.

·         This is the only concentration that we may push the technical portion first to get students out into the field and working and have them return later.

·         The Barnes Center for Biotechnology Business Development is working on Nanodiamonds which are 1/10,000 of the size of a piece of sand. An oil additive would allow for 60,000 mile oil changes in vehicles.

·         18 of 30 credits can be completed in Nano-Manufacturing.

·         This program has great job prospects at the Associate level.

·         The number of dislocated workers is growing and they have funds that they do not know what to do with.

·         Webco Industries is sending employees to train with us and gain college credit in motor control. This gives the employees/students extra incentive in training.

·         The Bachelor degree completion program has been approved at the University level. It will go back to the state this spring with changes.

·         60 credits are obtained through the Associate and 60 additional credits of online coursework complete the Bachelor requirements.


Chris Reber

·         The degree will allow for 27 business credits which would apply toward the requirements of the M.B.A., emphasizing the “ladders approach”.


Bill Hallock

·         Oil & Gas is a good example of an area where potential students need to be “scared-straight”. It is not a field for everyone, much like the Electric Utility program where 200+ people come out and only 12 get selected.


Michael Bauer

·         On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays students are at Penelec training. So far all the courses are very pertinent to lineman training. The business courses have really helped in understanding why management does what they do.

·         The summer experience gave great practical experience and all the students went to different areas and came back with different ways of doing things and were able to share what they had learned.

·         The transition from student to employee will be much easier now that he has field experience.


Chris Reber

·         In addition, the lineman summer experience is paid.


Michael Bauer

·         Found out about the program in the paper and was interested because of seeing older men at previous employers being lade off and new a more stable career was needed.


Randy Seitz

·         What do you like best?

·         Do you want to go on to the Bachelor program?


Michael Bauer

·         The training prepares you for the work and the guys will help you out a lot. Also, would like to continue on to the Bachelor program.

·         Associate in Criminal Justice previously, the program was good but it didn’t train for a job.


Bill Hallock

·         Michael was a great student and college bound.

·         Some people obtain great degrees but graduate without any actual job skills.


Randy Seitz

·         Started out as Pre Med, the route some first take does not guarantee work when you are finished. Once was told that all an undergraduate degree says about a person is that they were able to commit to something for 4 years.



Bill Hallock

·         There should be a fall EUT class but the recruiting process will look a lot different.

·         The fall open house was cancelled without any real reason given; they are making corporate decisions and we have to remember that.


Bill Powell

·         The Career Center students have more hands on experience and that makes them better students and employees.


Bill Hallock

·         Students with career center essentially get 9 credits “free” that will transfer into the program.


Chuck Guiste

·         Executive Director of PMI since June 2009.

·         2 locations, Sharon and Meadville.

·         PMI is undergoing a renaissance and is a 501(c) (3) organization.

·         Has always been by manufacturers for manufactures.

·         Things shift and economy changes, this is a great time to train because we know we will be coming out of this [economy].

·         In past job the local community did not have the quantity or quality of training

·         70% was once passing for the aptitude test, people then fell below 50%

·         From that came a passion for technical training, then came to PMI.

·         Since becoming director, other schools have approached PMI but many have a fluff curriculum that doesn’t match PMI’s goals.

·         Students who recently finished the program out of Ridgway and already finding employment.

·         Richard Gonzales (a Venango/PMI student) was the 4th person to receive the director’s award for excellence in attendance, academics and other criteria such as keeping a career appropriate appearance.

·         This is award is important to set students apart like an honor roll and show which students will make great employees.

·         Operating on a Go, No Go System

·         Heavy on theory and heavy on application.

·         Relationships with machine, equipment and software manufacturers allow for PMI to consistently have updates.

·         PMI pays shipping and rigging fees to do this.

·         It has been more difficult with the economy to keep the latest technology, manufacturers want to do what sells and not always what is new.

·         PMI wants to bring in the newest technologies and not what is selling today.


Bill Hallock

·         A contract with EIT was signed in June. It allows students who live in Erie to complete their education here. Students can complete the technical or general education requirements in whichever order works best and they can stay in the Venango Campus apartments if they choose.




Marie Whipple

·         Erie Institute of Technology was built on Electrical and Biomedical training and developed into Manufacturing, CNC, Maintenance, RHVAC, a lot of hands on in school.

·         When students come out they have not only theory but hands on.

·         Students take externships and focus on meeting needs of employers and getting jobs.

·         EIT does on-site training for employers. The goal is to meet the needs of employers.

·         Clarion differs with other partnerships because they know [students] their technical training will transfer in and they will receive credit for what they have done.

·         EIT is located in the old Blair building near the Millcreek Mall.


Bill Hallock

·         All 3 partners offer similar training but give students different location options.

·         We weed out a lot of people and try to get them into the best area for them.


8:55 am: Good of the Order


Susan Hileman

·         Funds are available in Consortium Training through a Customized Job Training Grant.

·         75% cost reduction in grants for training.

·         The grants are available through June, and then the money goes back to the state.

·         Approximately $250,000 is still available.

·         Multiple companies participating can get cost savings applied.

·         The work for the grant has been done so access to the funds is simple.


Randy Seitz

·         Excited to hear about Marcellus Shale training.

·         The recent news story highlighting growth of Range Resources in Warren County.

·         Marcellus is paramount in economic development.

·         DCED (The Department of Community and Economic Development) was created.

·         Recommendations for education opportunities to present to the DCED are needed.


Chris Reber

·         The Venango Campus hopes to have Marcellus Training in print by the beginning of the New Year.


Randy Seitz

·         Recommendations are due December 21st, meeting is being held on December 14th.


Karen Thomas

·         Building in internship requirements to get students introduced is important.

·         The company [Pennsylvania General Energy] is willing to take on students for internships.

·         3.2 GPA is required for students to be considered.


Randy Seitz

·         Serving as a member of Corbett’s transition team.

·         There will never be another opportunity to propose how students can be effectively trained in Marcellus Shale opportunities.

·         This is the time to get it written into the report to how the next 4 years will be carried out. It is a golden opportunity to say ‘these are the tools needed’ for proper training.


Susan Hileman

·         There are opportunities for local manufacturers to provide things needed in the production Marcellus Industry.


9:10 am: Meeting Adjourned