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Community colleges start JobTrakPA program

By , - Last modified: October 3, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Pennsylvania's community colleges today kicked off JobTrakPA, a $20 million program to retrain and place workers in emerging industries.

The state's 14 community colleges, including Harrisburg Area Community College, last year received the $20 million three-year grant for the programs from the U.S. Department of Labor. Schools will use it to train and place workers in advanced manufacturing, energy and conservation technologies, and health information technology fields.

By 2016, workforce investment boards estimate, there will be nearly 50,000 jobs in those industries in Pennsylvania.

HACC has had its programs running since April using its $2 million share of the grant. About 100 people have enrolled or are completing training, and at least 12 have found jobs, said Kim Kaufman, interim dean of economic and workforce development at HACC.

"One of the focuses of the program is for the community colleges to address (curriculum) capacity," said Stephen Curtis, president of the Community College of Philadelphia. The programs will continue after the grant money is gone, and each community college is discussing how to pay for these programs in the future, he said.

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