South Central Workforce Development Board

Quarterly Newsletter

December 1, 2023 - Volume 1 - Issue 3


The 2024 Board and Committee dates are now available!


Inside This Issue

See SCPa Works Newest Awards

Read more Customer Success Stories

Check out our Industry Partnership Spotlight

Learn more on South Central PA Labor Market Analysis and Research Corner PG. 

NEW Board Member

Our newest Board Member is Jerry Succi, Director of Human Resources at A.S.K. Foods Inc. 

Born in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, while his father was stationed there and serving in the U.S. Navy.  He and his family were evacuated from Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis and wound up living in Florida.  He attended high school in Ocala, Florida, and shortly after high school, joined the U.S. Army, serving for 21 years and retiring in 1997 as a Sergeant Major.  Jerry attended college while in the military and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services and a minor in Business from Wayland Baptist University.  After the military, he did a short stent in law enforcement with the State of Georgia before starting a career in Human Resources.


In 2000, Jerry joined a company called Guilford Mills and was an HR Manager for one of their manufacturing facilities in Greensboro, NC.  Later, he moved to corporate, where he served as the Director of Employee Relations, and later moved to Pennsylvania, where he managed a union facility while retaining his role as the Director of Employee Relations.  After Chapter 11 filing, he moved to Lebanon, PA, and joined a hardwood lumber manufacturer, Weaber Lumber, where he served as the Director of Human Resources from 2006 to 2021.  Finally, he moved to A.S.K. Foods Inc. in 2021, where he currently serves as the Director of Human Resources.


Jerry is married and has two children, a son 46, a daughter 42, and two stepchildren.  A stepdaughter, 33, and a stepson, 29.  He also has seven beautiful grandchildren ranging in age from 20 to 3 years old.  Jerry’s hobbies include hunting, fishing, and dog training.


Upcoming Committee & Board Dates

Administration and Finance Committee Meeting

Youth / Program
Committee Meeting

Executive Committee

Board of Directors

January 25, 2024, at 8:30 am

January 30, 2024, at 8:30 am

February 1, 2024, at 8:30 am

February 9, 2024, at 8:30 am

All Committee Meetings are held at 4201 Crums Mill Road, Suite 100A, Harrisburg, PA 17112. The February 9, 2024, Board of Directors Meeting will be held at the Capital Region PA CareerLink®  – 100 N. Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101.

SCPa Works Employee Anniversaries


Hillary Lyle, Director of Strategic Initiatives – 5YRS

Saranne Miller, Policy Manager – 2YRS



Courtney Day, Compliance Manager –  2YRS

NEW SCPa Works Employee


Ralph Wolf

Director of Finance

Ralph Wolf joined SCPa Works as the Director of Finance on October 16, 2023. Ralph lives in Hummelstown with his wife, Kristin, and 8-year-old daughter, Libby. Ralph also has two coonhounds: Duff and Annabelle. Ralph received his Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Penn State-Harrisburg and his MBA from Clarion University. Ralph comes to us from Faithful at Home Care and his work history includes Keystone Human Services, the City of Harrisburg, PFM Asset Management, HACC, and Rescare/Equus/Brightspring Health Services. Ralph's hobbies include reading, gardening, taking long walks, and playing with my daughter.


SCPa Works Awards Business Education Partnership Mini-Grants to 10 Community Organizations

SCPa Works recently awarded $77,000 in Business Education Partnership Mini-Grants to local community organizations focused on building the talent pipeline for local schools and companies. SCPa Works received nearly $240,000 in requests with 18 total applicants. Awarded entities are:

Dauphin County Whole Home Repairs Program

            SCPa Works is administering the $400,000 workforce development program for Dauphin County EDC’s Whole Home Repair program, which includes support for trainees and costs related to the design and implementation of pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeships, and publicly funded on-the-job training programs. Equus Workforce Solutions has been selected to administer the program.

Economic Development Systems Connections Request for Quote (RFQ)

The Economic Development and Workforce Integration Initiative is a collaborative endeavor between SCPa Work and CREDC. This project aims to strengthen the connection between workforce development and economic development in the South Central Pennsylvania region.  The initiative recognizes that robust economic growth is interdependent with a skilled and adaptable workforce. By fostering partnerships, enhancing data-sharing mechanisms, and aligning programs, this project seeks to benefit both workforce development and economic development systems while contributing to the sustainable growth of the regional business community. 

Youth Re-Entry Contract

The purpose of this grant is to support youth reentry programs that will blend academic and occupation training, provide specific linkages to area employers in high-priority/in-demand occupations, provide needed supportive services and mentorship, and offer clear connections to education and training. Additionally, these programs will feature close working relationships between LWDBs, the PA Careerlink® system, county and/or state justice systems, community or faith-based organizations, the federal bonding program, career and technical education centers, Job Corps, and institutions of higher education. The amount to be contracted is $405,000.

Objectives include: Providing assistance to 18-24-year-olds who have had interactions with the judicial system, to find meaningful employment; Reducing recidivism and unemployment; Promoting pro-social behaviors through mentorship and job retention; Increasing exposure and training in High Priority Occupations; Enhancing connection between PA CareerLink®, county criminal justice systems, and PACTT affiliates.  Equus Workforce Solutions has been selected to administer the program.

RENEW Program

The RENEW program, made possible with grant funding from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, has been extended until June 30, 2023. Currently, the program has 26 enrollments, with a total enrollment goal of 30. The local prisons, specifically Adams County PrisonYork County Prison, and Capitol Pavilion, have been great partners in allowing access to come into the prisons to meet with the individuals, creating an additional layer of support and connection. Currently, the second cohort of Workforce 101workshops is taking place at Adams County; York County has completed its Workforce 101 workshops and has moved forward with CBI workshops; and Capitol Pavilion has sent individuals to the PA Careerlink® office, as well as welcomed our staff in their facilities, to complete CBI workshops. Beyond having support and encouragement from their Career Advisor, Workshop Facilitators, and other PA Careerlink® staff,  the program has been able to ease the burden that some of these women are facing by assisting with items such as bus passes, rent, insurance, and fines/restitution payments.

Unique Private-Public Partnership Brings Tech Education to Greenwood High School

“SCPa Works, PA Careerlink®, Harrisburg University, and NuPaths prepare students for tech careers through collaboration. 

MILLERSTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES, September 18, 2023/ — A groundbreaking partnership is set to redefine education in Perry and Juniata Counties. Perry and Juniata County high schools, in collaboration with SCPa Works, PA Careerlink® (Business Services, and Title I Youth team), Harrisburg University, and NuPaths, proudly announce the launch of the Technical Support Specialist Program at Greenwood High School, Millerstown, PA.”

Click here to read the full article

SCPa Works and Partners Featured at National Association of Workforce Development Professionals 2023 Youth Symposium

SCPa Works, Equus Workforce Solutions, Knovva Academy, and InsideTrack were recently featured at NAWDP’s 2023 national youth symposium to highlight key innovations and promising practices related to youth programming in South Central PA. SCPa Works highlighted two South Central programs and partnerships to conference attendees:

Technology+Human Connection=A Recipe for Youth Success

Implementing a data-driven approach to community outreach paired with technology and purpose-driven staff. Key partnerships and strategies:

  • Community Access Point Model: No individual is more than 15 minutes from workforce services and staff.
  • Partnership with Knovva Academy to conduct a regional analysis of Opportunity Youth across our eight-county service region. Utilizing US Census and Department of Education data, Opportunity Youth population density and other factors were mapped to inform the best locations for Community Access Points.
  • Utilization of virtual reality to expose Youth to high-priority occupations and connect them with the workforce system for further support.
  • The importance of regional collaboration and systems connection to best serve Youth.

“If I just knew or had someone who could help me.” – Empowering Young Adults through an Innovative Mentoring Partnership From Coast to Coast

South Central PA Works and Las Vegas, NV Works have joined forces with InsideTrack, a national nonprofit, to offer virtual mentoring opportunities to youth in their region. This workshop equips participants with foundational knowledge about a coaching model that is trauma-informed and evidence-based, with practical applications in a mentoring setting. Participants learned how two workforce boards, from opposite sides of the country, implemented this pilot. Successes, challenges, and opportunities were explored.

Youth Updates

PA Careerlink® DAYS

This is an opportunity for schools from various districts to visit their local PA Careerlink® for the day and learn about the various services offered.  They also get the opportunity to learn about the VR headsets, create or get assistance with their resumes, sit down with company representatives to do mock interviews, as well as sign up for program enrollment. The hope is that the students will feel more comfortable seeking assistance from PA Careerlink® since they are now familiar with the location and faces.  In addition, they leave with flyers and other tangible information that they can share with their family and friends.


Equus Workforce Solutions is on fire with its school engagement!  The Outreach & Youth Departments have been going to schools to engage the students in the Transfer Virtual Reality program.  Every Wednesday, they have been working with a group of students at Waynesboro High School to engage them in learning about training and knowledge that will prepare them for well-paying jobs in high-demand fields.  They have school visits scheduled until February of 2024 on their calendar, as well as several job fairs and engagement opportunities.

Adult Updates


REJU application, piloted to EARN participants, is now available to all program participants. The application provides virtual mental health services for participants.


Skyhive creates a profile for participants and personalized career pathway maps for Career Advisors to have meaningful conversations with participants and provide assistance with services to help reach participant goals. The up-to-date job opportunities, including Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Workforce Development System (CWDS) job postings, Eligible Training Providers List (ETPL) postings, and other employment opportunities, are updated through the application regularly to be able to map out a profile, skills, and the steps necessary to achieve employment goals.


Participants can also access Job Scan and workshops available through the PA Careerlink®, expanding job opportunities and available postings to participants.

Community Access Point (CAP) Update

New CAP locations established PY 23’-24’ Q1 were, Cumberland County Housing Authority, Upper Dauphin County Human Services Building, and The Salem Square Association.  A recent meeting with The Brethren Housing Association, Dauphin County, has resulted in an MOU to implement a CAP, which will allow us to close the gaps to those inside the City of Harrisburg.

The most productive CAP locations continue to be the New Hope Ministries locations.  In addition to our onsite engagement, we have received a total of 14 referrals from NHM staff. Another top referral site is the York County Community Progress Council. After a presentation to the staff in September on the PA Careerlink® services, we received 21 referrals. Partnering with Upper Dauphin County’s Human Services liaison allows us a great location inside their building to meet with those individuals who face the challenge of traveling to Harrisburg for services.

Serving those touched by the justice system became our priority this year.  We became established with Lebanon County Domestics, and continue our relationship with Domestic Services in Adams County and York County. Priority has been placed on youth offenders.  We continue our partnership with Lebanon County Adult & Juvenile Probation and have met with 11 youth.

Success Stories



I hope this message finds you all in great spirits. I just wanted to drop a note of gratitude for the CBI workshops, especially to the The Reentry Specialist herself, Ms. Gina, and the amazing Ms. Holly, along with the whole CareerLink crew. 

So, about those CBI skills, you guys hooked me up with? Absolute game-changer. Seriously, I didn’t realize how handy they’d be until I found myself in some tricky work situations. But guess what? Your workshops equipped me to handle them like a pro.

Ms. Gina, your workshops were like my superhero training ground. The problem-solving hacks, killer communication tips – I’ve been using them in the real world, and they’re like my secret weapons. I honestly think I dodged a few professional bullets, thanks to those skills.
Big shout-out to Ms. Holly and everyone at CareerLink for creating an environment that’s not just about work but about personal growth too. The support I got was next level, and it made all the difference. 

I’m not just saying this – I genuinely feel more confident and capable in my job now. It’s like I’ve got this secret stash of skills that sets me apart, and I owe it all to you guys.
Thanks a bunch for being the awesome team that you are.”

-RENEW Participant


Benjamin came to the Harrisburg University Secondary Services team as a student. He is now a current Esports Management, Production, and Performance student, and was able to work with an international non-profit organization remotely, called the Network of Academic and Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF). He worked with their marketing team and created content for their social media platforms, by creating graphics and editing videos. He was able to do some data management, and also helped do some moderation in the Discord Server run by NASEF it was never boring. His passion for the esports world and community was widely known at Harrisburg University. During his tenure with NASEF, he accrued 111 hours of Paid Work Experience, which was made possible with the funding from SCPa Works. His internship with NASEF allowed him to network and find more people in the scholastic esports arena trying to educate and uplift high school students in the space. He was able to impact so many young people with this internship in ways that cannot even be imagined!

To Read his full story, see below for Benjamin’s NASEF blog discussing his experience:


Richard entered the WIOA program in late August 2023. Richard was met in the CRC by Paul Henderson, and after discussing his current situation, Paul invited Holly Simmons and Michelle O’Bradovic into the conversation. Richard was a disabled veteran who was released from prison that week. Richard needed immediate employment. Richard was scheduled to return the next day to conduct orientation and meet with Holly Simmons. Richard arrived 30 minutes before the start of the orientation and had almost all the documents needed for intake. Holly assisted him with updating his address with PennDot, and after a quick discussion with intake, Deborah Smith met with Richard to conduct his intake. A few days later, Richard arrived for a hiring event and stayed at the event for approximately six hours, talking with employers and community resources, and applying for jobs on the PA Careerlink® website.

When assigned to his career advisor, Richard discussed his areas of interest with his career advisor and decided that he wanted to obtain employment in one of the following fields: HVAC, warehouse, or clerical positions. Richard’s previous background was also discussed as a barrier to employment. His business service consultant assured him that he would guide him toward re-entry-friendly employment opportunities.

Richard diligently walked to PA Careerlink® daily to work on his resume and search and apply for job openings that matched his interests. After much dedication and effort, Richard secured employment with Dayton Parts as a Machine Operator in October 2023. Richard also received assistance getting the needed work boots for his new position. 

Congratulations, Richard, from everyone at PA Careerlink®!


Erica Allen has been enrolled in EARN since November 3, 2021, and migrated to my case in January. Since her enrollment, Erica has diligently met her weekly required hours by signing up for every workshop EARN has to offer and applying the skills learned to her daily life. After being employed with Faithful Transportation, Erica has reached her employment goal in transportation and has maintained her employment throughout her retention period. Erica was very responsive while managing her case, stayed in compliance with communication, and sent her paystubs whenever needed, thus earning every incentive available since enrollment. October makes her 12th month of retention, and with the submission of all her paystubs for this month, she will have successfully completed the EARN program, making her one of many. She is a prime example of goal setting and using the resources and skills provided to help achieve her goals. Working with Erica was a pleasure, and she will be missed.


“Five of our former digital literacy students were recently selected for a Google Scholarship award! This was a national opportunity that they applied for through COABE, and were 5 of only 25 selected from PA. Our instructor, Maureen, was also selected for an Educator’s scholarship and will be attending the cybersecurity course. As scholarship recipients, they were able to select one Google Careers certificate, which includes foundational courses such as cybersecurity, data analytics, digital marketing, IT support, project management, and UX design. We look forward to hearing about their progress and will be sure to update you as they work toward their certificates.”

-Mindy, Executive Director at Employment Skills Center


PA Careerlink® Business Services Consultant, Tiffany Bowles, had been providing services to a participant on her caseload for a couple of months. After a 20-year work history as a hairdresser, the participant was eager to make a career transition. Through the PA Careerlink® Paid Work Experience program, Tiffany referred the participant to the Cumberland County PA Careerlink® to learn about the Human Services profession. The participant expressed that she truly enjoyed her work experience and inquired about any potential jobs within the PA Careerlink®. Tiffany sent the participant specific job leads, one being a Youth Talent Development Specialist at the Cumberland County PA Careerlink®. The participant interviewed for the position and was hired on October 30th. Thank you, Tiffany, for your efforts, and congratulations to the Cumberland Youth team on your new hire! If you are an employer and would like information on resources such as the Paid Work Experience program, please email Matthew Ross at and you will be connected to a PA Careerlink® Business Services Consultant who can assist!


The SCPa Works Apprenticeship Navigators are planning an April Apprenticeship event at the Dauphin County PA Careerlink®.  We will host a Breakfast Meeting Information Session about Registered Apprenticeship Programs followed by a job fair.  If interested in attending, please contact

Industry Partnership Spotlight

We are conducting round tables and meetings with farms and agriculture businesses as we explore an agriculture industry partnership to support our vast agriculture community in our eight-county region in South Central PA.  Stay tuned for more information.

At our kickoff meeting on August 17, twenty-six construction companies and thirteen community-based partners met to discuss challenges and opportunities in the South Central region construction industry sector.  Through a facilitated-led discussion group, the companies established three priorities to work on during this program year:  Adult Workforce, Youth Workforce, and Owner Hiring Processes.  The Adult Workforce group will focus on increasing the talent pipeline by recruiting justice-impaired job seekers.  The Youth Workforce group is working on an asset map exercise of people, partnerships, experiences, and space before scheduling programs.  The Owner Hiring Processes team will provide employers with solutions and best practices to enhance connectivity with qualified applicants and creative pipelines for future workers.  If interested in joining our partnership, please contact Cynthia Picht at

The South Central Next Gen new technology community website has launched!  There are excellent resources for employers, students, and job seekers.  Employers can become a member of the partnership at no cost, highlight your company,  and post your job openings.  To find out more about us and how you can become a member, please visit the website:

On a month-to-month basis, our region has over 500 open, high-paying technology jobs.  To find out about the top five technology jobs and career pathways, please  visit our website link below:

In South Central PA, manufacturers’ primary challenge is the urgent demand for a skilled workforce. The manufacturing sector in the region is expanding, marked by a competitive industry, and production occupations are deemed the most difficult to fill. However, manufacturers grapple with meeting factory orders due to supply chain limitations and insufficient technology adoption. Notable corporations like Hershey’s, Harley-Davidson, Keurig, Dr. Pepper, and local manufacturing companies, form the Industry Partnership crucial for sustaining the regional economy. Rejuvenated in November 2018, the partnership addresses critical issues such as the skills gap, supply chain comprehension, and technology deployment. Led by Co-Chair employers Phoenix Contact and Weldon Solutions, the partnership involves key public partners, educational institutions, and workforce development boards, fostering collaborative efforts to advance manufacturing in South Central PA.

The Industry Partnership is in the process of completing a study on Barriers to Retention. Employer partners are actively surveying their employees, and the Manufacturers’ Association is compiling and benchmarking the study to extract insights regarding best practices and obstacles to retaining current staff. Given the persistent tight labor market, the forecasted mass retirement, and the transition into a pandemic or prolonged labor shortage, there is a pressing need to identify and disseminate new and innovative strategies within the manufacturing community to address this challenge. Unlike other studies, this one is specific to South Central PA employees and the manufacturing industry.  The study will be available in Q1 of 2024.


Economy Overview

  • Regional Employment is 724,424, a slight increase from last quarter
  • As of August 2023, the Regional Labor Force Participation Rate is 64.69%
  • As of October 2023, the Region’s Unemployment Rate is 3.1%, below the State’s Unemployment Rate of 3.4%
  • Statistics that reflect 2022 Supply/Demand in our Region (Supply = Population / Demand= Job Opportunities):
The stats are an example of job demand outweighing population supply
  • 43% of jobs in SCPa Region required no more than a High School Diploma or GED / 37% of our population met that criterion
  • 24% of jobs required a Bachelor’s Degree / 18% of our population met that criteria
The stats are an example of our population supply outweighing job demand
  • 9% of jobs in SCPa Region required ‘some college’ / 16% of our population met that criterion
  • 2% of jobs required an Associate’s Degree / 9% of the population met that criterion
  • 4% of jobs required a Graduate Level Degree or higher / 11% of the population met that criterion

Job Posting Analytics

  • A total of 2,950 employers have posted 21,687 jobs with an average wage of $50,800
  • 28% of job postings over 90 days are requiring no more than a High School Diploma/GED, while 19% are requiring a Bachelor’s Degree
  • 17% of job postings over the past 90 days are requiring no more than one year of experience
  • UPMC, one of the region’s largest employers, has posted the most job openings over the last quarter. The Commonwealth of PA, Amazon, Penn State University, and Wellspan are among the top in job postings
  • Industries in our region with the most job postings: General/Surgical Hospitals, Colleges/Universities, Public Health Administration, Physician Offices, and Home HealthCare Services

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