SCHNECKSVILLE, Pa. | Lehigh Career & Technical Institute is featured in the latest installment of state Sen. Pat Browne’s television show, “The Browne Report.”
Filmed at the school in October and released in December, the half-hour show highlights the vital role LCTI plays in workforce development for the Lehigh Valley and all of Pennsylvania. Access to skilled labor is a priority for today’s employers, Browne said, and LCTI’s educational offerings are one reason so many big-name companies are attracted to the region.
“We’re talking about … how you stay ahead of the curve. The biggest thing is not taxes or costs, it’s the skill of your workforce. So, what you’re doing here is absolutely crucial,” the senator said as he toured LCTI’s Advanced Manufacturing Center, which is part of the school’s adult education division.
“We’re training adult learners and incumbent workers from industry — we’re upskilling those workers — to operate and maintain and repair the high-tech equipment that runs all of our manufacturing,” LCTI Director of Postsecondary & Workforce Education Brna explained.
State Sen. Pat Browne filmed the latest installment of his TV show at LCTI. Check it out!
Browne also stopped by the Auto Technology, Commercial Baking, Computer & Networking Technology, Diesel Medium & Heavy Truck Technology, Electromechanical/Mechatronics Technology, Small Engines/Recreational Vehicle Repair and SOC Food Services labs for high school students during a tour led by LCTI Executive Director Thomas J. Rushton.
LCTI works closely with business and industry leaders to make sure the school keeps pace with industry standards That means programs with evolving curricula and the latest high-tech equipment, Rushton said.
“Our primary focus is workforce development. The synergy that exists here between LCTI, the (Lehigh Valley) Workforce Development Board and business and industry, I would argue, is second to none. That is the key to our success,” he explained. “Together, as an amalgam, we work to make sure LCTI meets the needs of the workforce.”
Rushton noted that LCTI can’t train students fast enough to feed the demand for workers in the advanced manufacturing sector. Upperclassmen in the high school’s Electromechanical/Mechatronics Technology program, for example, often take on internships or co-ops with local manufacturers that lead to full-time employment after they obtain associate or bachelor’s degrees.
Referring to the Electromechanical program, B. Braun Vice President & General Manager Rex Boland said, “This lab is important to our company because this is where these kids, young adults, come and learn about what we do in our plant.”
Boland told Browne, “I’ve lived in five different states, I’ve been to all their technical schools and LCTI is the best technical school I’ve ever seen. These kids really have an opportunity in front of them once they get degrees coming out of this arena.
“We can’t get enough of them in the Lehigh Valley and I’m not talking about just B. Braun… I’m talking about across the valley. Manufacturers are fighting for these individuals and we need to have more young people coming into these programs.”
The Browne Report can be seen locally on Blue Ridge Communications, Channel 13; RCN, Channel 4; and, Service Electric Cable, Channel 50. Check your local listings for air times and dates.