PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Community College of Allegheny County’s West Hills site will host both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden Wednesday afternoon.
CCAC’s new president, Dr. Quintin Bullock, thinks he knows why.
“Our West Hills site is known for its workforce development,” Bullock told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
“We do some very innovative programming,” he added. “We have new initiatives in mechatronics, automotive technology, variety of trades, plumbing, electricity and HVAC.”
Essentially, students of all ages learn skills that can be taken right into the workplace, like this training center that focuses on energy jobs, including wind and solar.
What the president and vice president will see when they visit this campus is training for the jobs of the future — like a solar thermal heating system.
Training men and women for already existing job openings is a hallmark of CCAC.
“It’s a growing field and it’s great that Pittsburgh gets to be on the cutting edge with this grant and doing this training for these individuals,” says Debbie Killmeyer, program manager for CCAC. “We are the only ones within probably a four-hour radius that are doing this type of training.”
CCAC Prof. Dwayne Bauknight says that even for solar panels local jobs are out there.
“The jobs are really out there, even in Pittsburgh,” adds Bauknight. “I know that the solar panels have been going up all over my area. I actually own one. The jobs are there for them.”
Matching trained and skilled workers to the new, more technical jobs of the future can be a challenge.
“There’s an issue with making sure that industry in this whole region can remain competitive by having a highly skilled, highly trained workforce,” notes Alicia Booker, vice president of workforce development for CCAC.
And promoting partnership efforts between educators and industry that help students be employable is what brings the nation’s two top leaders to Pittsburgh.