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

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

Featured HUB

The center hosts individual HUBs to explore new programs, partnerships and pathways. A featured HUB is the Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship Program, which is designed to:

  • 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

Featured Partnership

In COVID-19’s post-digital landscape, many small businesses have relied more heavily on online sales and product navigation. Carlow has partnered with MINNIM Software to offer test automation training.

Contact Workforce Development

  • Rae Ann Hirsh, DEd Executive Director, Center for 21st Century Innovation and Workforce Development (C21) & Program Director, Early Childhood Education, Professor

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