CAREER PATHWAYS FRAMEWORK

Interested Berks County businesses and educational organizations have joined to form the Berks County Career Pathways Alliance.  With the strong leadership of the Berks County Intermediate Unit, the Alliance has developed a K-12 framework for career awareness and education.  The framework provides a set of standards for the 18 Berks County public school districts to reference, adopt, and adapt as best fits their student population and circumstances.  The framework is presented in detail and may be accessed at:

>> http://www.berksiu.org/programs-services/professional-development-curriculum-programs/special-servicesstudent-services/career-pathways/

Inside Berks Business

The Inside Berks Business program affords Berks County educators the opportunity to learn on site about a Berks County business or organization. Sponsored jointly by the Berks County Intermediate Unit and the Berks Business Education Coalition, participants spend four days over the summer experiencing the culture of the business or organization, gaining knowledge that they can take into their teaching responsibilities in the new school year. A fifth day brings the participants together as a group collectively, first at a participating business and then to share with each other in small groups a PowerPoint presentation they have developed about their experience to use in their classroom.

Twenty-nine educators were scheduled for the Inside Berks Business program in the summer 2020. Unfortunately, due to the impact of Covid-19, only three placements could be accomplished. As described vividly in the 2020 Annual Report (see News and Publications), the three teachers interning respectively at Albright College, the Pennsylvania German Cultural Center, and the Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad had a wonderful experience.

>> www.berksiu.org/ibb

HIGHER EDUCATION CAMPUS VISITS

All 18 School Districts Participate in Higher Education Campus Visits:

2020 marked the 17th year for this longstanding BBEC program. The schedule was set for all 18 Berks County public high schools to bring their students, primarily ninth graders, for a “boots on the ground” visit in class size groups to the five Berks county based colleges and universities. Over the course of the years, more than 34,000 students have had this experience, introduced to the culture and expectations for higher education.

Our sincere thanks to Albright College, Alvernia University, Kutztown University, Penn State Berks, and the Reading Area Community College for their partnership in this program.

BERKS COUNTY HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

Alvernia University has produced a four minute video presenting an overview of Albright College, Alvernia University, Berks Technical Institute, Kutztown University, Penn State Berks, and the Reading Area Community College. Suitable for all secondary grades and for parents. The video introduces students to opportunities for higher education right here in Berks County.


View on YouTube – English


View on YouTube – Spanish

STUDENTS INTERACTING WITH BUSINESS

The program brings ninth graders from across Berks County for an on-site visit in class size groups to participating Berks County businesses to learn first-hand about the culture and expectations of business, the factors that make for a good employee, and career and employment opportunities in Berks County. The program is described in more detail in the 2020 Annual Report (see News and Publications).

Covid-19 brought its wrath to this program also, in 2020, completely shutting it down. With over 26,000 students having the experience since 2013, we are firmly resolved to resume the program in 2021.

In the interim, and appropriate for going forward also, the Berks County Intermediate Unit has produced a three lesson study unit, BBEC Virtual Business Trip, to address the purposed of Students Interacting with Business.

Access to the study unit is:  https://sites.google.com/berksiu.org/bbecbusinesstrip/home

WHAT’S SO COOL ABOUT MANUFACTURING

The Manufacturing Resource Center (MRC) is a nonprofit organization funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.  MRC is dedicated to creating jobs and economic opportunity in eastern Pennsylvania’s Lehigh, Northampton, Schuylkill, Berks and Carbon counties.

MRC sponsors, “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing,” a school based program to foster increased student awareness of work and career opportunities in the manufacturing sector, first in Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon counties and since 2016/2017 also in Berks and Schuylkill counties.  Teams of six to eight, seventh and eighth graders, produce edited, three minute video clips at participating Berks and Schuylkill County based manufacturing companies.

The process is a rewarding learning experience for both the students and the businesses.  Framed as a competitive process, the program generates enthusiasm, pride, and heightened awareness school wide about employment and career opportunities in the manufacturing arena.

MRC now has a video library of such clips, easily accessed and sorted by interest: www.whatsocool.org. In year five, 2020/2021, twenty-one schools and businesses are set to produce another round of videos, bringing to 140 the number of video clips available to the schools as MRC and the business community celebrate “What So Cool about Manufacturing.”

2020-2021 Participants:

School TeamsCompany Participants  School TeamsCompany Participants
Boyertown MS EastWORLD electronicsMuhlenberg MSMitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials Inc.
Boyertown MS WestEagle Metals, IncOley Valley MSMisco Products Corporation
Brandywine Heights MSR.M. Palmer CompanyReading Northwest MSViwinco, Inc
Conrad Weiser MSPalram AmericasSchuylkill Valley MSEast Penn Manufacturing Company
Daniel Boone MSSweet Street Desserts, Inc.Wilson Southern MSAmerican Crane Equipment Corporation
Exeter Township Junior HSAmerican Polarizers, Inc.Wilson West MSSOLO Laboratories, Inc.
Governor Mifflin MSSunsweet Growers, Inc.