Mid Penn Bank is partnering with HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, to create a career pathway for high school graduates entering the workforce.
The joint venture will ensure those in the program will have guaranteed access to higher education while gaining experience through positions with the bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mid Penn Bancorp. Inc., Harrisburg.
The initiative will provide mentoring and career development with current bank employees while allowing each participant to earn a Certificate of Banking and an associate degree without an interruption to their income, according to Mid Penn Bank.
In its inaugural year, the bank will create 10 positions within the organization for participants in a variety of departments. During the first six months, the participants will focus on learning specific job skills, acclimating to a professional environment, and completing the prerequisites necessary to enroll in an associate degree program at HACC.
“We are thrilled to announce this one-of-a-kind program that will give college bound individuals a pathway for career development while accomplishing educational objectives in a cost-free environment,” said Mid Penn President and CEO Rory Ritrievi. “Within two and a half years of high school graduation, the successful candidates in this program will have almost three years of practical experience and income, as well as an associate degree with no out-of-pocket costs.”
Mid Penn worked closely with HACC administrators to develop the customized curriculum. The first 15 credits of the program will focus on coursework aligned with the financial services industry and will result in the student earning a Certificate of Banking.
Mid Penn will continue to fund the remainder of the associate degree program for each participant under the condition that they remain employed with the bank. The bank will also provide textbooks, laptop computers, and other required materials for participants to find success.
“HACC is excited to partner with Mid Penn Bank on this new initiative that allows high school students to enter the banking industry while earning a HACC associate degree with no out-of-pocket costs,” said John J. Sygielski, president and CEO of HACC. “This a significant opportunity for recent high school graduates who qualify to prepare for their future careers in commerce with a very respected financial institution in our region.”
The bank believes that this strategic partnership will be key to hiring and retaining a strong community-focused workforce while providing a path to higher education to those who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to attend college, the bank said.
After graduation from the program, upon obtaining an associate degree, the employees may choose to continue their academic pursuits while working through Mid Penn’s tuition reimbursement program.