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    Indiana County Chamber of Commerce and Indiana County School Districts Launch Indiana County Ready!

    Indiana County READY™ represents a community response to local workforce needs, better matching Indiana County employers with employees who possess the desired core skills and competencies needed to fuel a 21st century workforce.

    As it is nationwide, the workforce skills gap is a concern for Indiana County employers. After meeting with numerous businesses across industry sectors, the Indiana County Chamber of Commerce found that core skills and technical skills were often cited as lacking in the local workforce.

    "The Chamber was resolved to respond to the workforce needs of employers here, to find ways in which the community could begin to address the issue," said Chamber President Mark Hilliard.

    Hilliard said buy-in and support from the county's educational institutions was essential to the success of the initiative. After spending several months discussing, the scope of the initiative with education leaders including Superintendents and Guidance Counselors, the group formally launched Indiana County READY™.  

    Indiana Area School District Superintendent Michael Vuckovich stated that in implementing Indiana County READY™, the educational institutions pledge to provide 21st century workforce skills experiences, focusing on six specific core attributes.

    "While technical skills help you land a job, it's your soft skills that make the difference," Vuckovich said. "We are preparing students to live and thrive in a constantly changing environment and as a community, we need to prepare students with the skills that are needed today and beyond. I am honored and proud to be a part of such a wonderful event and I am confident that this regional approach to workforce development will be a huge success for our students, our schools, Indiana County, and the entire Commonwealth."

    Jim Kinneer, Chief Human Resource Officer at Indiana Regional Medical Center stressed Indiana County READY™ recognizes that now more than ever employers are desperate for job candidates who consistently demonstrate the six core attributes that the program addresses.

    "Indiana County READY™ offers a solution to help local educators and businesses to close the soft skills gap through an effective partnership and can serve as a catalyst for further workforce development efforts," Kinneer said.

    For students who sign up for Indiana County READY™, earning the designation will be akin to earning the local business community's seal of approval. When Indiana County employers see the Indiana County READY™ designation on job applications or resumes, they will know that the applicant possesses an understanding of and proficiency in the core attributes that businesses find essential in employees.

    To that end, Hilliard said promoting the value and purpose of Indiana County READY™ certification, as well as the individuals achieving the designation, is a priority for the Chamber and community partners. The response to date has been overwhelmingly positive.

    "Local businesses have embraced the concept of Indiana County READY™," Hilliard said. "The concern over having the workforce needed to grow and expand, and to remain competitive, is top of mind for many employers. They are receptive to efforts to address workforce readiness and close the skills gap because it ultimately matters to their bottom line."

    Indiana County READY™ is a voluntary program that students who are junior and seniors in any of the Indiana County School districts can enroll in near the beginning of the school year. The program will assess students over the course of the entire year on the categories of reliability, work ethic, communication, respect, professionalism, and attendance.

    Hilliard said that there will be assemblies for these students where the Chamber and members of the business community will discuss the program and the importance of the core skills that it assesses.

    "We are hoping that through all of the planned promotion all students, whether they are enrolled in the program or not, will be exposed to the importance of these core skills and why they are essential for them to be a productive member of the workforce, regardless of the industry they choose to be in," Hilliard explained.

    The Chamber of Commerce and its education and community partners say with a focus on core skills, the Indiana County READY™ program is an important, but only a first step in the process of building a 21st century workforce.

    The Indiana County READY™ program was created through an affiliation with the Chamber of Business and Industry in Centre County.

  • Sun, 25 Aug 2019 00:45:00 -0400

    Government in Action

    Meetings of municipal governments and school boards and county governmental bodies scheduled this week are at the following times and locations:
  • Sat, 24 Aug 2019 09:54:00 -0400

    Bobcats honor icon Widmar

    Ernie Widmar addressed the crowd Friday evening in Blairsville, where the football field was named in honor of the former longtime coach.
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    'Texting Thru Recovery': Slack tide best for Chincoteague ponies

    This week I’m revisiting a column from a couple summers ago, a different place on my cancer journey:
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    Church celebrates sign replacement

    St. James AME Zion Church, Second and Water streets, Indiana, recently celebrated the replacement of a sign that was destroyed by a wind storm. Bill Heberer, of Indiana, designed and built a new sign for the church.
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    'God, Me and a Cup of Tea': The risk of prayer

    In his book, “Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge,” Mark Batterson tells about an African missionary whose church met beneath the shade of a tree near the village because they didn’t have a building in which to worship.…
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    Church to celebrate 150th anniversary

    SHELOCTA — Mt. Union Lutheran Church, 1051 Girty Road, will celebrate its 150th anniversary on Sunday with a special service at 4 p.m. The first service was preached by the Rev. J.J. Wright on Sunday, Aug. 25, 1869, with 16…
  • Sat, 24 Aug 2019 09:44:00 -0400

    Community church events planned

    Every Saturday in The Indiana Gazette, find this roundup of family- and community-related events hosted by churches in the Indiana County area.
  • Sat, 24 Aug 2019 06:00:00 -0400

    Area church services announced

    Indiana County area churches are grouped by communities, which appear in alphabetical order.
  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 09:59:00 -0400

    Drug, alcohol commission gets $1 million grant

    The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has announced a $1 million grant to the Shelocta-based Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission to help further implement a tri-county Rural Communities Opioid Response program.
  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 09:54:00 -0400

    Garden Club awards scholarship

    The Indiana Garden Club Scholarship was recently awarded.
  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    The Manufacturing Gender Gap: Untapped Potential

    According to Deloitte’s 2015 study and review “Minding the Manufactur­ing Gender Gap,” “Women constitute manufacturing’s largest pool of un­tapped talent in the United States. They comprise just over one-fourth (27%) of manufacturing employees even though women make up nearly half (47%) of the total U.S. labor force.” The Gender Gap’s Economic Impact Leadership at both KCF Technolo­gies, a State College-based […]
  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Other Notable Females in Manufacturing

    Kathleen Sarniak-Tanzola is the president and CEO of Jeannette Specialty Glass, a borosilicate glass manufacturing plant located in Jeannette, Pennsyl­vania, specializing in press and mould products for indus­trial, commercial and residential applications. Indus­trial products have a wide range of applications, including commercial outdoor lighting, scientific equip­ment, marine glass and explosion proof glass. Residential applications include kitchen and bathroom sinks, accent […]
  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    A Rising Generation of Women Embrace the Sciences

    (AP) Why is there a national, and inter­national, push to involve more women and girls in science, technology, engi­neering and math? The four subjects are critical to answer­ing the world’s top problems, be they climate change, overpopulation or star­vation across the planet, among others. Tricia Berry, of the Texas Girls Collabora­tive Project and an engineering professor at the University of […]
  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Providing Holistic Wellness at Your Fingertips

    While walking with her husband one day, Emily Mahler of Boswell, Pennsyl­vania, deliberated on names for a business she planned to create. “I knew it would have a wellness focus, but I was also interested in how tomorrow’s gen­erations are affected by what we do today,” she said. “My husband came up with ‘Wellness for Generations’ and I knew that […]
  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Stephanie Hite’s Trade Secrets

    When Stephanie Hite and her husband, Andrew Hite, sold their first candles to family and friends only three and a half years ago, they never would have guessed that those candle sales would evolve into what they have today: an expand­ing shop in downtown Altoona and a business poised to do $500,000 in sales in 2019. The seemingly rapid success […]
  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Women Owned Start-Ups

    Women in Business is proud to showcase some outstanding Women Owned Startups in Central Pennsylvania. The women represented here have demonstrat­ed the vision, determination and grit necessary to turn their dreams into success­ful reality. Starting a business is a daunting task under the best of circumstances and too often ingrained perceptions make it even more difficult for women. But as […]
  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Wellness for Generations

    Wellness for Generations is a global directory of wellness professionals and resources to support people on their health journey. The professionals are vetted and, once approved, are listed on the directory and given access to the Wellness for Generations Facebook communities and business resources. Three pre-qualifications for professionals include a belief in whole-body wellness, that there is no “one size […]
  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Maake Magazin e

    Maake is an artist-run arts organization based in central Pennsylvania, publishing the print publication Maake Magazine, and running the new exhibition space Maake Projects. The magazine employs clean, minimal design to showcase the work of contemporary artists and artist-run projects in an elegant printed context. The publication is released three times annually, exhibits innovative and experimental contemporary artwork by artists […]
  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Giv Local

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  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000


    Argolytics, LLC is a start-up software company based in State College, Pennsylvania. Its focus is on helping small- and medium-sized manufacturers assess the quality of their parts or products. Founder Tamela Serensits first heard about the need for accurate, affordable quality control reporting while working in the sales department at Minitab, Inc. She believes that small manufacturers shouldn’t have to […]
  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 18:39:32 +0000

    First look: California family schedules opening of Mary's Vine

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  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 18:24:34 +0000

    Pittsburgh area construction firm files Chapter 7

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  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 18:11:32 +0000

    20 more employees cut from local natural gas producer

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  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 18:10:13 +0000

    Pittsburgh software company opens in new office with new name

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    RMU's School of Business to offer certificate in sales

    Robert Morris University announced this week that its School of Business would offer a certificate in sales, starting with the 2019-20 academic year. The 12-credit program is available to undergraduate students or as a standalone credential and will be available to any student, not just those in the School of Business. The curriculum for the certificate is comprised of four courses that focus on sales psychology, branding, consultative and professional sales. Students train using Salesforce, a…
  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 17:19:29 +0000

    Joe Hardy's real estate company buys well-known building in Uptown

    84 Lumber Co. founder investing in the potential of Uptown with new building buy.
  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 17:14:40 +0000

    Shell Pipeline completes big segment of Falcon Pipeline

    The trip under the Ohio River took several months.
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    Innovative medical practice plans to expand to Pittsburgh

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  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 15:59:26 +0000

    Around Town N'at: Burns Scalo Real Esate beam raising ceremony, Pressley Ridge Ice Cream Fundae and MDA's golf outing

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  • Fri, 23 Aug 2019 12:12:44 +0000

    CCBC names new head of construction management program

    The Community College of Beaver County announced Thursday that it had appointed Justin Brooks as the director of the school's construction management program and the Mascaro Construction High School Academy. According to a release from CCBC, Brooks will be responsible for all administrative, operational, instructional and financial activities in the program and will develop partnerships with construction companies, high schools and local colleges. He will also oversee the development of new courses…
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