Apprenticeship program outlined at Clarion economic luncheon

Students at the Clarion County Career Center may soon be able to enter into an apprenticeship program.

Megan Wagner Ingram and Veronica Coward of the Thomas Miller Associates business-consulting firm based in Youngstown, Ohio, presented the details of the Greater Ohio-Penn Manufacturing Apprenticeship Network during Thursday’s annual luncheon of the Clarion County Economic Development Corp.

“A critical shortage of skilled labor is a major limiting factor to the future success and growth of many industries,” said Ingram. “On top of that, the region faces a shrinking and aging population.”

Doug Mays, interim director at the Clarion County Career Center, said he would be pursuing additional information on the program. He said the program would benefit the Career Center students.

Ingram said the network was awarded a $2.9 American Apprenticeship Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The grant encompasses the Greater Ohio-Penn Region, which comprises 14 counties.

In Pennsylvania, those counties include Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and Warren.

Ingram said the goals of the grant are to meet the manufacturer needs for “highly skilled and credentialed employees through customized, registered apprenticeship models.”

She said the program also streamlines apprenticeship and employee candidate recruitment, assessment and pre-screening operations with different service providers.

Ingram said the program can aid employees to “innovate and adapt, meeting business needs for a highly skilled 21st century workforce.”

“An apprenticeship is a work-based learning program,” said Ingram. “It is designed to build talent pipelines by providing employer-driven, flexible training solutions.”

Additional information may be obtained by contacting Ingram at