New Castle News

TOP STORIES

February 23, 2013

Educational Options: With energy in our future, college isn’t for everyone

NEW CASTLE — The straight path that leads to a traditional college landscape is starting to have a few curves.

It’s long been known that a university or college education isn’t for every student.

Now, with higher-paying jobs opening in the manufacturing and technical fields, and the Marcellus shale boom, options for high school juniors and seniors are multiplying. And the lines between blue collar and white collar jobs are blurring.

“Other Ways to Win,” a book written by Penn State professor Ken Gray, sums up an alternative approach to further education.

Andy Tommelleo, director of the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center, said, “Ken Gray’s book goes beyond the belief that the only way to win is with a four-year degree. That’s not the case at all.”

The school collaborates with energy companies to provide equipment and training; partners with manufacturing companies such as The Ellwood Group; and works with Butler County Community College in the welding area.

At the Lawrence Crossings campus of Butler County Community College, director Diane DeCarbo agrees with Tommelleo’s assessment.

“Not every student needs a bachelor’s degree,” DeCarbo said. “These upcoming job opportunities are changing the mindsets of parents.”

Industry and manufacturing are a totally different world than that of the great-grandparents of our young people,” noted Paula McMillin, executive director of Lawrence County School to Work.

“With computerization and increased emphasis on environmental and safety issues, the concerns have greatly changed,” McMillin acknowledged.

SKILL SETS

As the shift in the job climates changes, courses revolving around STEM — or science, math, technology and engineering — will be tweaked to keep up with those changes and prepare students for these types of jobes, said Joy Ruff, community outreach manager for the Marcellus Shale Coalition.

“We need to create awareness that the basic level of skill sets necessary in the energy industry also transfers to a variety of industries in the region,” Ruff said.

Michelle Hoffman, branch manager of Manpower of Hermitage, said soft skills need to be taught in schools, and that apprenticeships and internships are vital.

Soft skills are frequently described by using terms associated with personality traits, such as optimism, common sense, responsibility and integrity, and abilities that can be practiced including empathy, teamwork, leadership, communication, manners, negotiation, sociability and the ability to teach.

“It’s often said that hard skills will get you an interview, but you need soft skills to get the job,” Hoffman said.

At a recent School to Work program, Ruff spoke to area school counselors during a question-and-answer session, and was pleased with the interest shown.

Ruff said she and the group engaged in dialogue and she also explained about the Junior Achievement Careers in Energy program.

“We need to teach students about energy and look at ways to partner with different businesses,” Ruff noted. “And it’s critical to let students about about all the traning programs from basic to beyond four-year degrees such as geoscientists and engineers.”

McMillin pointed out that, “We try to show the counselors these are positions for each level of training along with the wages.”

In this area, manufacturing produces the highest average income, she confirmed.

“As we go into businesses, we hear that employees are needed who possess a good work ethic, math and technical skills and are drug free.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
TOP STORIES
  • VerySpecial.jpg Jameson Hoyt Atrium display spotlights artwork of special needs kids and adults

    Artwork from dozens of area students will take center stage Thursday in the Hoyt Atrium of Jameson Hospital. The Very Special Arts exhibit will kick off with an opening reception at 5 p.m., and the works will remain on display in the glass-enclosed walkway through Oct. 4.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • DougDanko.jpg Census shows county population getting older

    Lawrence County’s population continues to get older. However, it is not alone, as Pennsylvania overall is aging.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • backpackproject.jpg Councilman picks up tab to help lunch program

    Participants of a local summer feeding program are eating this week courtesy of New Castle City Councilman Tim Fulkerson. On Friday morning, the truck dispatched from New Castle to pick up about 3,500 pounds of items from the Pittsburgh Food Bank broke down as it arrived at its destination.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CRESTVIEW.jpg Outreach: Churches plan to host picnic for residents of Crestview Gardens

    Volunteers from several area churches are banding together in hopes of bringing peace to a troubled neighborhood.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Council OKs funds to remove dead trees

    New Castle City Council has approved spending funds from its contingency account to remove some trees at Darlington Park. Marshall Tree Experts of Ellwood City has given an estimate of $12,000 to remove the large elm trees from the Mahoningtown park.

     
     

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 12.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Night light

    The balloons may have been on the ground but spirits were soaring.

     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • StateFair.jpg 'State Fair' coming to Playhouse

    The fair is coming to town. No, not the Lawrence County Fair, although that is right around the corner. This is the Iowa State Fair, and it will be live on the stage of the New Castle Playhouse for three weeks, starting Friday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baptism1.jpg Dipped downtown

    John the Baptist identified himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’ ” On Saturday, local evangelist Randy Crum once again took a cue from the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, eschewing the locusts and honey that John was known to munch on but heading out into the wilds to baptize believers and challenge them to share their faith with their community.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

House Ads
Poll

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to authorize Speaker John Boehner to sue President Obama for allegedly overstepping his legal authority with the way he's handled Obamacare. Good call?

Yes. Obama's been overstepping his authority since day one in office. It's time he pay the piper.
No. The allegations are ridiculous and the law suit is a waste of time and tax payer money.
I don't know. I'm not a huge fan of Obama, but the suit seems a little extreme.
     View Results