New program will train underemployed, unemployed Pennsylvanians; help place them into high-demand jobs

Harrisburg, PA - A statewide initiative by Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges will help provide critical training to displaced workers in Pennsylvania, equipping them with the skills they need to get back to work in a high-demand, family-sustaining jobs.


The program, JobTrakPA, will use fast and affordable retraining to help PA’s displaced workers regain employment in today’s high-demand industries.  JobTrakPA was made possible by a $20 million Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grant awarded to the colleges last fall.


“Pennsylvania employers tell us that they have jobs waiting for workers with career-specific skills in several high-growth industries,” said Dr. Alex Johnson, president of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges and president of the Community College of Allegheny County. “Community colleges are part of a nationwide effort to provide a new skill-set to our workforce that will create career pathways for qualified workers in the shortest possible time.”


Currently, there are 15,000 TAA-eligible workers in Pennsylvania.  The colleges, along with Pennsylvania CareerLink, are coordinating efforts to reach those workers and connect them to JobTrakPA for retraining and re-employment.


Three high growth and in-demand industries have been identified as priorities by the colleges.  Training in these industries will be offered throughout the state, but will vary by regional needs:

  • Advanced Manufacturing;
  • Energy Distribution, Production and Conservation; and
  • Healthcare Information Technology. 

Dr. Johnson noted that each of these industries is projected to grow substantially over the next few years, and highly-skilled workers are in demand.

“It is projected that there will be 4,800 job openings in advanced manufacturing in the coming years, over 32,000 job openings in energy distribution, production and conservation by 2016, and more than 9,000 job openings in healthcare information technology by 2016,” Dr. Johnson said.  “As always, the community colleges stand poised and ready to respond to workforce needs.  JobTrakPA will be a vital tool in getting Pennsylvanians trained and back to work.”

In addition to offering training, the community colleges have hired dedicated staff to help ensure students are successful at completing their courses.  Following completion, staff will provide job placement assistance.  The community colleges have already developed relationships with local employers who are ready to hire students who complete JobTrakPA training. 

In Beaver County, at Community College of Beaver County (CCBC), individuals can train for jobs in the energy field as well as the emerging natural gas industry with new certificate programs in Industrial Maintenance, Proces Technician, and Waste Water Treatment Operator.

This new certificate programs are designed to help certify new operators in this high demand and priority field. From start to finish, this program offers all the necessary instruction, course work, hands-on training, and on-site experiences to pass the certification exams required by the PA Department of Environmental Protection. Students are able to customize their training to prepare for manufacturing and oil and gas-related career fields. Training also includes electrical and mechanical troubleshooting and safety.

“CBCC is excited about the opportunity to train individuals in industries that will play a vital role in impacting economic growth and development in Beaver County,” said CCBC President Dr. Joe D. Forrester. “It is the College’s goal to get our displaced and unemployed residents back to work fast.”

Other fast-track training opportunities at CCBC include:

  • Welding - combines employability skills training, basic welding skill training, gas and oil training, and natural gas classes.
  • Safety - choose from Safeland certification for the oil and gas industry or our 10-hour OSHA for Construction Industry Safety.
  • CDL (with an oil and gas emphasis)

For more information, please contact CCBC’s Career Coach, Hugh Gallagher, at 724-480-3567 or via email at

Additional information about JobTrakPA can be found at

About CCBC

Community College of Beaver County is an open door admissions institution. The College provides more than 40 programs of study, offering students the opportunity to earn associate degrees, certificates and diplomas in such areas as the arts and sciences, aviation, business, health careers, human service, and technologies as well as non-credit enrichment courses and workforce development programs for the community and surrounding areas. Dedicated to helping more students succeed, CCBC is also an Achieving the Dream Leader College.

About Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges

Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges serve students from every county of the state.  The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges is a volunteer membership association for Pennsylvania’s community colleges. Its members include the college presidents, members of colleges’ boards of trustees and key college administrators.  The Commission represents the interests and advocates the collective needs of the community colleges to federal and state policymakers.  For more information please visit