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Teachers gain 'world of work' insight

In 2020, Governor Tom Wolf announced Seneca Valley was the recipient of a $25,000 Teacher in the Workplace grant to enable teachers to visit local employers and learn the skills and industry trends to enhance their classroom instruction, student learning, and career readiness.

Due to the pandemic, this was postponed; however, the grant, awarded through the Department of Education (PDE), was recently extended, and training opportunities were made available to staff this summer.

Some Seneca Valley teachers participated in a five-hour structured job-shadowing program earlier this month, learning more from employers like Steamfitters, Builder’s Guild, Life Design and PNC Bank, near our school district.

“The Teacher in the Workplace program has allowed our staff to see firsthand the current work environment,” stated Seneca Valley Student Services Director Jeff Roberts. “Instead of talking to our students about ‘the world of work’ in general terms, participating teachers will be able to give specific examples.  We are committed to providing opportunities for students to understand how to prepare for their next steps in life.”   

After debriefing about the experience, the faculty reviewed their school curricula and made recommendations for adjustments that support developing 21st century skills that meet local employers' needs.

Mr. Roberts added, “Teacher participants were amazed at the high-tech work being done in our backyard.  They want what they are teaching to be relevant to students’ futures.”

The Teacher in the Workforce grants from PDE are funded through federal money made available through Title II, Part A, of the Every Student Succeeds Act and from L&I through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act. Eligible applicants include local education entities, businesses and chambers of commerce, labor organizations, postsecondary institutions, community-based organizations, public libraries, trade associations, and economic development entities.

Teachers in the Workplace