LABOR SKILLS GAP SOLUTIONS CONFERENCE MAY 20 at WPHS. Superintendent of Schools Ricca, a Panelist

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WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From the Westchester Putnam Work Force Development Board April 28, 2019:

According to the National Skills Coalition, middle-skills jobs, which require education beyond high school but not a four-year degree, make up the largest part of America’s and New York’s labor market.

Key industries in New York are unable to find enough sufficiently trained workers to fill these jobs. Demand for these jobs is expected to remain strong through 2024 with 45% of openings to be in middle skills.

The Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board will host a high-level learning and panel discussion on Monday, May 20th to address the shortage of middle and soft skills training, as well as illuminate options for mapping out sector specific career paths through stackable credentials as a viable choice for high school students. School board presidents, superintendents, guidance counselors, employers, higher education professionals, and others who work with students are encouraged to attend.

The event is free and will be held at White Plains High School (The Media Space inside the library, 550 North Street, White Plains, NY 10605). Breakfast and registration will take place at 8:30am and the program will run from 9:00am – 10:00am. Online registration is requested (

The May 20th panel will be moderated by Thom Kleiner, Executive Director, Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board, with panelists Dr. Michael Baston, President, Rockland Community College; Dr. Joseph Ricca, Superintendent of Schools, White Plains Public Schools; Dr. LaTasha Hamlett-Carver, Career Center Program Specialist; Teresita B. Wisell, Vice President, Workforce Development and Community Engagement, Westchester Community College; Carolyn Chieco, High School Guidance Counselor and Consultant, Daniel Bonnet, Deputy Executive Director, The Centers for College & Careers at the Guidance Center of Westchester, and Orane Barrett, Chief Executive, Kool Nerd Club.

“We are seeking to clarify the various options that exist for finding and pursuing a career while at the same time gathering information from those who work with students and parents. With the high cost of a 4-year college degree looming large for many families, we want to shed light on the alternatives and encourage students to consider careers they have a passion for and can gain credentials and experience in, without the expense of a traditional four-year college degree,” stated Thom Kleiner.

“At Rockland Community College we are totally committed to providing middle skills programs and stacked credentials through career pathways so that those interested in a career that doesn’t require a four-year degree, can get the training they need and get into the workplace sooner,” stated Dr. Baston. “We want to shift the mindset to one that embraces viable choices and options dependent upon the interests of the individual. No one should feel as though choosing a path that doesn’t require a four-year degree is somehow less significant. Our goal is to show that it is a better choice for many not simply based on cost, but also based on a swifter entrance into the workforce,” added Baston.

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