The COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis and systemic racial inequities in the workforce have changed the way people learn, work, communicate and live. Responding to the region’s workforce needs is critical for the survival of our communities. 

The Center for 21st Century Innovation and Workforce Development works to build and advance an interconnected 21st-century workforce development ecosystem that responds to the new reality of the COVID-19 digital landscape, systemic racial inequities, occupational segregation and displaced workers through stackable trainings, certificates, credentials and credits that articulate into career and college pathways. The pathways approach may prompt government, education and industry leaders to assess the condition of these pathways and work collectively to enable and strengthen them.

The Center for 21st Century Innovation and Workforce Development offers:

  • Credentials
  • Certificates
  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Innovative program delivery
  • Professional development
  • Trainings and workshop series
A man stands behind a woman at a computer screen in a workforce development class with other students around them.
College Students At Computers In Technology Class

The Dr. Rae Ann Hirsh Apprenticeship Hub for Early Childhood Education

Launched in 2018, The Apprenticeship HUB at Carlow was approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor as the state’s first four-year early childhood apprenticeship program. The Apprenticeship Hub provides support to help current childcare workers attain degrees. The program is designed to: (pick up existing copy)

In October 2022, Carlow are received the single largest grant in its history — $12 million – which will endow The Dr. Rae Ann Hirsh Apprenticeship Hub for Early Childhood Education at Carlow for the benefit of future generations.

  • Reduce workforce barriers to credential and degree attainment
  • Diversify the early childhood workforce pipeline
  • Elevate the quality of child care as evidenced through higher STARS ratings
  • Increase higher quality caregiver interactions
  • Elevate scores on environmental rating scales through coordinating the efforts of key stakeholders and providing targeted apprenticeship supports

Highlights and benefits of the program include:

  • Two tracks: Early Development and Learning; Early Childhood Education with Pre-K Certification Preparation
  • Up to 24 credits for on-the-job learning
  • On-site and online courses one night a week at a Carlow location
  • Coaching by on-site coaches and mentorship by University supervisors 
  • Free access to a professional lending library of course materials, textbooks and digital media tools
  • Ability to borrow early childhood materials and resources
  • Free early childhood professional development required by Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)
  • Free tutoring and career and academic support services for support in coursework and preparation for required certification tests

For more information about The Dr. Rae Ann Hirsh Apprenticeship Hub for Early Childhood Education, contact:

Workforce Development Partners

The center’s success relies on innovative industry partnerships with Carlow’s academia. Some of our current partners include:

  • PASSHE ECE Professional Development Organization
  • Pittsburgh International Airport
  • Pennsylvania Department of Labor
  • MINNIM Software
  • UPMC
  • The Fred Rogers Center

Contact Workforce Development

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