Most communities in Pennsylvania, including the Pocono Mountains Region, and across the nation are challenged by having many young adults who are not fully prepared for the demands of postsecondary education and training, skilled employment, and civic participation. In addition, existing workers may not have the resources to keep up with the education and training demands of a changing workforce. As a result, individuals, families, educators, employers, and the community are experiencing unemployment and underemployment, skill gaps in the workforce, slow economic growth, poor student achievement, and low college completion rates.
In 2018, Monroe County School Districts and Career Technology Center were offered the opportunity to receive technical assistance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Bureau of Career and Technical Education (BCTE) and the National Center for College and Career Transitions (NC3T) to explore the possibility of a county-wide Career Pathways Partnership. These partnerships are designed to enhance the college, career and life readiness of its students and young adults transitioning to the workforce. Under the leadership of an executive committee composed of representatives from all four Monroe County school districts, Monroe County Technical Institute, businesses, community organizations, postsecondary institutions, and economic and workforce development partners the Monroe Career Pathways Coalition (MCPC) was born.
MCPC is not a social service agency or program. We are a volunteer organization seeking alignment and collaboration among our education and community partners. It is a countywide movement of hundreds of individuals and organizations with varying backgrounds working together, and differently within their own personal, professional, and volunteer circles, to improve our community, the local economy, and people’s lives. Since its inception, MCPC’s work has focused on three key areas: helping students graduate “Career and Life Ready” , engaging employers and businesses in supporting high quality work-based learning for students, and the development of a county-wide Professional Skills certificate. Our work is grounded in strategic plans that align community expertise, efforts, and resources.