YES Future Plans Survey Results

At the end of the 2016-17 school-year, YES students were given a survey that asked them about their immediate future plans. We had 236 respondents from 10 different school districts. Students were asked to indicate their future plans and check all that apply to them under the following categories: College, Workforce, Military, Certification/Technical Degree, Associate Degree, and Bachelor’s Degree or higher. Below are the results:

  • College: 89% of all students plan to attend college. (8% increase from last year)
  • Workforce: 14% of all students plan to enter into the workforce. (9% decrease from last year)
  • Military: 5% of all students plan to enter the military. (2% decrease from last year)
  • Certification/Technical Degree: 4% of all students plan to earn a Certification or a Technical Degree. (4% decrease from last year)
  • Associate’s Degree: 15% of all students plan to earn an Associate’s Degree. (no change from last year)
  • Bachelor’s+ Degree: 72% of all students plan to earn a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. (9% increase from last year)

For the full survey, which has occupation and migration data, as well as an individual school breakdown, please click the link below.

View the results here.

YES Workshops Making a Difference

Since 2006, over 5,500 high school students have completed the in-school version of the Your Employability Skills (YES) Northeast Certificate Program. It should come as no surprise that most people are aware that YES is offered to high school students, but what many don’t know however, is that the Council also teaches a workshop series that’s offered to various different populations.

The YES Northeast Workshop Series is broken down into 22, two hour-long workshops that cover everything from communications and interview skills to financial literacy and generational diversity. The topics mirror many of the same subjects as the in school program, but are offered in a more flexible manner that better allow the Council to educate any population that’s eager to learn.

All subjects covered are in demand by the business community and are instructed by Council staff. Given the instructors knowledge of both the education and business communities, they can give a unique perspective on the topics that very few others can deliver, providing direct insight into the exact skills and behaviors that employers are currently seeking.

“Every one of the workshops and its instructors taught me something different,” said former workshop participant Kemelin Pena. “One of the workshops that I will never forget was on emotional intelligence. As I am a young mother of two, I learned concepts that I use in my daily life in order to keep myself positive, motivated, and focused on my goal. If given the chance, I would advise anyone to attend. The information provided in each workshop is very useful for both your personal and professional lives.”

Kemelin is one of the many success stories to come out of the workshop series. She enrolled in the workshops that are offered at the PA CareerLink in Hazleton. This series runs in conjunction with a GED program offered by ResCare Workforce Services. Both programs gave Kemelin the skills necessary to become gainfully employed by EDSI as a bi-lingual receptionist within the CareerLink.

The Council has formed a great relationship with both ResCare, and the ReDco Group, which runs a similar GED program at the CareerLink in Pottsville. These partnerships date all the way back to the inception of the series in 2010 and remain strong to this day, with workshops currently running at Hazleton, Pottsville, and Wilkes-Barre.

“The partnership between ResCare and MAEC has been outstanding,” said Jerry Fallabel, Youth Program Manager for ResCare Workforce Services. “One of the keys has been having an open and honest communication between our staff and the Council staff. Thanks to this dialogue, they’ve been able to construct workshops that are not only beneficial to students, but also meet the strategic WIOA mandates for providing the 14 required elements. We believe the workshop facilitators are professional, always prepared, and provide students with information which will last them a lifetime.”

“Since the 1980`s, employers have consistently responded to numerous surveys that soft skills are of the utmost importance to them when they are hiring new employees,” continued Fallabel. “The feedback that we have is that if the student demonstrates an understanding of acceptable employability skills, such as, being on time, customer service, ability to get along with co-workers, accept supervision, problem solve and show initiative, they will be much more successful in a job.

“Students, thanks to the YES program, are introduced to the value of developing these skills. Then, they are evaluated in our classes and about how they are demonstrating them and get the opportunity to use those soft skills on their Work Experience assignments where they are also evaluated by the work site supervisor. With the new common measures categories under WIOA, 6 and 12 month retention in employment is all the more crucial. Integrating employability skills into the curriculum is no longer an enhancement, it is now a necessity.”

Jerry’s statements about employability skills echo that of the 330 local employers that support the YES program. Regardless of career path, these skills are essential for anyone looking to succeed today’s workplace. This is the reason why the series has been tailored for various different groups including Schuylkill County Drug and Alcohol/Children and Youth, adult dislocated workers, YouthBuild pre-release individuals, and most recently, the Schuylkill County Prison.

In addition to the knowledge obtained through in class instruction, students earn an industry recognized credential for completing the course. Each student receives a certificate for every workshop that they attend. This can be added to their portfolios to bolster their resumes and in many cases, their self-esteem.

This added boost of self-esteem provided by the workshops is exactly what’s needed to propel the students to the next level in both their professional and personal lives. For more information on the workshop series, please contact the Council office at 570-622-0940.

Council Assists in Bringing Mobile Ag Lab to Local Schools

Gregory Hostetter, fourth from the right, the Deputy Secretary for Animal Health & Food Safety at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, visited North Schuylkill Elementary School Tuesday to watch students as they used the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture – Mobile Agriculture Education Science Lab. Pictured are, from left: Gary Hess, Schuylkill County commissioner; Courtney Fasnacht, executive director of the Northeast PA Manufacturers and Employers Council, Inc.; Trina Moss, manager for job seekers and employers at the Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board; Patricia Lenahan, executive director of the Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board; Roland Kissinger, McDonald’s owner/operator in Schuylkill County; Hostetter; Robert Carl, president and CEO of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce; George Halcovage, Schuylkill County commissioner; Darlene Robbins, president of the Manufacturers and Employers Association; and Robert Ackell, North Schuylkill School District superintendent.

The Council and the Luzerne Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board (L/S WIB) recently teamed up to bring the Mobile Agriculture Education Science Lab, which was made possible by a grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Pennsylvania, to North Schuylkill and Shenandoah Valley. The grant was obtained by the L/S WIB, in conjunction with the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce and the Pittston Chamber of Commerce.

Gregory Hostetter, the Deputy Secretary for Animal Health & Food Safety at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, visited North Schuylkill Elementary School on Tuesday to watch students as they used the lab to learn about the importance of agriculture and the food on their table.

During the mobile lab’s visit to North Schuylkill and Shenandoah Valley in Schuylkill County, as well as additional visits to Pittston Area, and Wyoming Area in Luzerne County, more than 3,000 students in first through eighth grades used the lab to complete science experiments that helped them gain a better understanding of the scientific process and an increased awareness of agriculture’s importance in their lives. The 40-foot trailer has 12 lab stations where students work in groups of two to solve a problem as they form a hypothesis, conduct an experiment, collect data and draw conclusions. Through the experiments this week, students will learn about various aspects of agriculture, including Pennsylvania’s primary commodities, the environment, biotechnology, nutrition, food and fiber.

Penn State Hazleton Offers First YES Tour - Press Release

HACC at Penn State Hazleton

Front Row: Leticia Valerio, Taylor Dillon, Vaneliza Mejia, Jonyshin Matos, Nathan Pliska, Arlenis Ferreras, Endrianna Rodriguez, Josephie Dotel, Paige Minnick. Back Row: Jocelyn Shaffer, Deb Dougherty, Michelle Chyko – Y.E.S. Instructor, and Cynthia Caleron

Penn State Hazleton Campus recently hosted their first YES (Your Employability Skills) tour. YES students from the Hazleton Area Career Center toured the campus to learn more about careers in higher education, as well as the educational opportunities that are available in their own backyard.

The YES Northeast Certificate Program, which is administered by the Northeast PA Manufacturers & Employers Council, is a 120-hour, 1-credit, year-round elective course that addresses the shortfall of basic skills that employers say are lacking in many job applicants. The course addresses 38 modules in all, including communication, team building, interview/resume/cover letter writing, job applications, personal finance, conflict resolution, time management, and career exploration. The curriculum was developed based upon today’s business and industry needs, with many of the subjects being in-demand trainings that are being offered to the incumbent workforce. For more information on the YES Program, or other Council offerings, call their office at 570-622-0940 or visit their website at

About Penn State Hazleton Campus
Conveniently located off Interstates 80 and 81 in northeastern Pennsylvania, Penn State Hazleton consists of a 125-acre scenic campus overlooking the Conyngham Valley. With more than 900 traditional students and adult learners, Penn State Hazleton offers the first two years of most of the University's 160 bachelor's degree programs along with a range of bachelor's degree and associate degree programs. Penn State Hazleton combines the resources of an internationally recognized university with caring, top-notch faculty — all designed to encourage student success. Academic opportunities, co-curricular activities and on-campus housing offer students a great environment in which to learn and earn a valuable Penn State degree. For more information on Penn State Hazleton, contact the admissions office at 570-450-3142 or visit