Staff, faculty, and administrators from Community College of Beaver County joined Beaver County Career & Technology Center (BCCTC) staff and administrators for a luncheon and school tour in an effort to get acquainted and to gain an increased awareness of the programs that each organization offers.  As next-door neighbors, both see the benefits of uncovering ways in which the organizations can collaborate to pool resources and serve as direct referral streams to one another.   

“During this first visit, we want everyone to gain a clear picture of our current programs and educational strengths,” said Robert Edwards, Acting Director of BCCTC.  “Then, we would like to determine best strategies and methods that will allow us to collaborate more effectively, especially in areas where cross-utilization of equipment and resources makes sense.”

BCCTC’s facility is one of Beaver County’s best kept secrets and offers supplemental academic programs to Beaver County high school students as well as specialized training for adult learners.  With their programs in logistics and materials management, welding, masonry, machine tool technology, HVAC, graphic arts, and much more, the partners realize the importance of ramping up efforts to capitalize on both CCBC’s and BCCTC’s strengths.

“BCCTC offers adult programs in the evenings, some of which fill while others are cancelled due to low enrollment,” said Diane Loverich, Program Manager of Continuing Education at CCBC.  “CCBC, on the other hand, is expanding their technical and industrial programs, but are limited in what can be offered on site due to space and room constraints.  As a result, ongoing discussions and meetings are occurring to strategize for future program offerings.”

One of the first CCBC instructors to initiate a plan of action after the Meet and Greet was Carl Dennis, Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity.  After touring the computer lab and meeting Renee M. DiGiacomo, Business Information Systems Instructor at BCCTC, Mr. Dennis saw the connection between her classes and the Cybersecurity program at CCBC. 

“Renee teaches an Introduction to Computer Forensics at BCCTC,” said Dennis.  “I plan to work with her and her students to encourage them to visit CCBC after completing their computer program.”

In addition to the potential of reaching more high school students, Dennis envisions strengthening the relationship between BCCTC’s and CCBC’s faculty and students.  Dennis plans to invite Ms. DiGiacomo on the IT advisory committee at CCBC.

“I want the BCCTC students to tour CCBC and see firsthand our IT classrooms and talk directly to the students who use them,” said Dennis.

The College and BCCTC currently have an established cooperative educational agreement to provide 24 college credits for BCCTC graduates pursuing an Associate Degree in Applied Technology.  Dennis, however, is thinking of ways to even further expand these opportunities.

“We need to prepare these students for the future by providing them with different options to learn multiple skill sets,” said Dennis. “For example, a student who graduates from the masonry program at BCCTC could also benefit by enrolling in our entrepreneurship program to learn how to run his or her own business in the future.”

On the non-credit side, talks are underway to offer a customized Forklift Safety course for area employers whose employees require recertification as well as a Logistics class for employees new to warehousing. 

“While this collaboration is in the early stages, CCBC and BCCTC will work together to empower students of all ages in our community with enhanced skills and educational opportunities that can benefit them throughout high school, college, and their careers,” said Loverich.