PITTSBURGH TECHNICAL COLLEGE REACHES NATIONALLY TO ADDRESS LOCAL NEED FOR SKILLED WORKFORCE
College Shares Best Practices in Educational Leadership and Workforce Development to Prepare for New Economy
PITTSBURGH—September 16, 2019 – Pittsburgh Technical College (PTC) has launched a national engagement initiative to address the changing workforce needs of the Pittsburgh region due to the growth of new industry sectors, including advanced manufacturing, energy and green construction. The initiative, strategized by PTC president Dr. Alicia B. Harvey-Smith, PhD, aims to address the needs of a dynamic workforce through sharing of best practices in leadership strategies, responsive curricula and experiential learning.
“Our regional economy is evolving rapidly around advanced industries that are changing the nature of our workforce,” said Dr. Harvey-Smith. “There is an immediate need to tap into a national network that will help our region sustain the education and placement of job-ready graduates who are prepared to make an immediate workforce impact.”
Dr. Harvey-Smith assumed the presidency of PTC on July 1, 2019 and has identified the development of a national network as an immediate priority for PTC, needed to develop an education pipeline for the region’s growing demand for a middle-skilled workforce. As part of this program, Dr. Harvey-Smith is leveraging her recognition as a national speaker to develop an engagement team at the college that will speak at and partner with national conferences, organizations and employers to build on success at PTC to address regional workforce needs.
“Pittsburgh Technical College has an established, local reputation for providing top-tier, experiential education resulting in one of the best in-field career placement rates in the nation,” said Dr. Harvey-Smith. “Last year, 96 percent of our available graduates were placed in their field of study. And, the demand is growing. This is a formula that we need to share. A proven path to address our changing workforce has been quietly succeeding in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.”
Dr. Harvey-Smith attributes PTC’s job placement success to the school’s close partnerships with regional and national employers, use of top-tier simulations and technology and agile, career-focused curricula. Through her introductions with local employers and partners, she has learned that there is a growing need for building these programs to support the region’s growth.
“I have been visiting classes and meeting with faculty, students and staff to learn about the PTC student experience, and I would place our student experience against the top programs in the nation,” said Dr. Harvey-Smith. “This sentiment has been shared by our industry partners that have indicated a need for even more students with these skills. To help meet these needs, I have encouraged the faculty to take part in our engagement team, sharing their expertise with our peer organizations and at national conferences, and I have committed to doing the same.”
Dr. Harvey-Smith recently engaged with statewide educational administrators in a recent forum, hosted by Governor Tom Wolf, that will showcase the work of PTC, and other college students, across the state in anticipation of the upcoming state recognition of the U.S. semiquincentenial. In November, Dr. Harvey-Smith will be keynote speaker for the “Women in Leadership of Higher Education” conference, hosted at Harvard University, where she will share expertise on women leading effectively through change, using emotional intelligence.
Dr. Harvey-Smith also has encouraged engagement in awards and recognition programs. She recently was recognized by the Houston Business Journal among “Women Who Mean Business” awardees in technology and education for her prior work as the Executive Vice Chancellor of Lone Star College in Houston. She hopes to bring similar recognition to the work at PTC.
In conjunction with the external engagement strategy, PTC plans to begin working with college partners and advisory boards to attract thought leaders to the region by hosting regional and national workshops that showcase education technology, workforce partnerships and other ties to economic development.
Pittsburgh Technical College, located in Oakdale, PA, is a nonprofit, academic institution with more than 30 programs that prepare students for career success. For more information about Pittsburgh Technical College, visit www.ptcollege.edu.