GRCA is dedicated to the advocacy efforts and programming necessary to support a pipeline of skilled workers to meet the needs of employers in Berks County. We are focused on growing the spectrum of services available to employers to find the talent they require, while also promoting the efforts of current community partners, educators, and service providers through our workforce development programs. The alignment of employer-driven needs, paired with educator and provider input, will propel our community towards a more streamlined approach to addressing the workforce challenge – a trend that can be seen throughout the nation.
Career Pathways Program
A two-prong approach program for seniors at Reading High School. In the Winter, ALL senior students are visited by a volunteer from the business community to guest-speak on the topics of goal setting, resume preparation, interviewing skills, and to share the skills employers are really looking for in the job market. In the Spring, juniors and seniors are provided with a Career Fair, where employers, service organizations, and college/trade schools provide a venue for post-secondary planning and exploration.
For more inflammation regarding this model and its importance, view this video:
Provided to 8th grade students as an anti-bullying, decision-making, and critical thinking program. Meant to empower students to make choices that will benefit them long-term, and provides tools to the students to help them make the right choice, even when faced with adversity.
Young Leadership Conference Series
This annual leadership conference benefits tenth and eleventh grade students, selected from ALL Berks County school districts. The program is a one-day opportunity for students to network with professionals from the business community, explore careers options, hear from a keynote speaker, receive leadership training through facilitated exercises, and so much more!
- Berks Business Education Coalition: Students Interacting with Business
- Financial Reality Fair, hosted by local credit unions under the leadership of VISIONS Credit Union
- Career Pathways Model, adopted by all eighteen school districts and led by the BCIU
- PA STEM Competition, hosted by BCIU
- What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Program, provided by MRC
- RMCTC Summer Internship Program
Entrepreneurial Exploration – Higher Ed Programming
Biz Idea Challenge
As part of our goal to promote entrepreneurship, GRCA established the Business Idea Challenge. The competition is open to undergraduate students from Albright College, Alvernia University, Kutztown University, Penn State Berks and Reading Area Community College. Students develop a Business Idea Plan using resources provided by the Chamber, and submit the comprehensive plan for judging. Finalists are selected to present their pitch to a panel of judges from local business organizations. They receive valuable feedback from our panel of judges, similar to Shark Tank on TV. Awards are presented to the winners at a Chamber Board Meeting, where students are celebrated for their product/service ideas. Program is currently being redeveloped – please inquire if you’d like to be a part of the newly developed model!
To learn more about any of our talent development initiatives, or our workforce programs, contact Ellen Albright, Director – Workforce Development.
Incumbent Worker Training/ Upskilling
GRCA is a leading provider in customized and public training for our employers. View the comprehensive list of programming available to employers here.
To learn more about our professional training and development offerings, contact Mark Dolinski, VP of Membership & Events.
Site selectors, CEOs, hiring managers, and small business owners all seem to be facing one glaring challenge – the ability to find skilled, available, job-ready talent. It is with this in mind that GRCA has made talent attraction marketing a priority, putting Berks County further on the map as a great place to live, work, and play.
To learn more about our talent attraction efforts, contact Pam Shupp.