Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Contact 90.5 WESA with a story idea or news tip:

CCAC Is Offering Free Training For Workers In PA's Future Plastics Economy

Matt Rourke
AP Photos
A worker walks across The Group manufacturing facility floor, Tuesday, March 12, 2013, in Hatfield, Pa.

A group of students will begin a new program Tuesday at the Community College of Allegheny County, created to meet the demand for workers in plastic manufacturing.

The demand for skilled workers in that area is expected to grow as baby boomers retire, and the addition of the Shell cracker plant is likely to attract more companies to the area looking for local talent.

With help from a $150,000 state grant, the school created the Plastics Manufacturing Technology Certificate program to create a pipeline of skilled workers for companies looking to set up shop near the Beaver County plant. The college is paying for the program and full scholarships for 35 students over two years.

“When people move to an area it’s not because ‘OK, my raw material supplier is close, so that’s good I can get what I need quickly,'" said Pam Grove, manufacturing grant coordinator with CCAC. "They also want to know if there are people there who know how to work at [their] facility."

The school is also partnering with regional plastics manufacturers to offer internships to trainees while they are in school.

Grove worked to recruit people with barriers to employment, those who had been unemployed over time or recently laid off.

The two semester program will prepare students for a plastic technician or operator, which are both entry-level positions.  

Sarah Schneider is WESA's education reporter. From early learning to higher education, Sarah is interested in students and educators working to create more equitable systems. Sarah previously worked with news outlets in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Idaho. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale where she worked for the school newspaper, the Daily Egyptian.
To make informed decisions, the public must receive unbiased truth.

As Southwestern Pennsylvania’s only independent public radio news and information station, we give voice to provocative ideas that foster a vibrant, informed, diverse and caring community.

WESA is primarily funded by listener contributions. Your financial support comes with no strings attached. It is free from commercial or political influence…that’s what makes WESA a free vital community resource. Your support funds important local journalism by WESA and NPR national reporters.

You give what you can, and you get news you can trust.
Please give now to continue providing fact-based journalism — a monthly gift of just $5 or $10 makes a big difference.