Jessica Hobson's Viewpoint: Providing Career Training to Those Who Need It Monday, July 27, 2020
"Through the Professional Career-Readiness Center, we are able to provide programs and services designed to help boost success by nurturing career-readiness, increasing knowledge of career pathways and connecting students to experiential learning such as internships and co-ops."
Jessica Hobson, M.A., director of career-readiness at Point Park University, wrote an op-ed for the Pittsburgh Business Times about the University's commitment to providing career resources and training to students and alumni through the Professional Career-Readiness Center:
Hobson's Viewpoint: Providing Career Training to Those Who Need It
Published July 24, 2020 in the Pittsburgh Business Times
At Point Park University, we are committed to connecting talented individuals to meaningful opportunities while contributing to the development of a regional talent pipeline.
When the COVID-19 pandemic reached Pittsburgh in March, we were fortunate to have appropriate and available career resources to support students and alumni through our Professional Career-Readiness Center.
The establishment of the Center was inspired in part by the Inflection Point study by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. The study reports that the Pittsburgh region has a projected potential shortfall of 80,000 employees by 2025, and regional workforce data also shows that 50% of 40,000 annual college graduates will leave the area because they cannot find suitable jobs.
And while we know that the pandemic will reshuffle some of the region's workforce needs, we also recognize the demand for qualified soft- and hard-skilled workers will remain.
Once the initial stay-at-home orders were enacted and our students returned home for the semester, I knew we had to find a way to continue connecting students and alumni with meaningful career-readiness and professional development opportunities.
Through the Career Center, we were able to provide programs and services designed to help boost success by nurturing career readiness, increasing knowledge of career pathways and connecting students to experiential learning such as internships and co-ops. We leveraged online platforms, like Handshake, to connect students and alumni to available positions as well as local, regional and national networking events.
The Center has also partnered with organizations such as Community College of Allegheny County and Partner4Work to ensure that low-income students have access to necessary resources, support and career tools during this time. Through a collaborative program, Pathways to Professional Careers, we are working to help low-income students gain access to a four-year degree program while providing career-readiness education and hands-on professional experience. Since November 2019, this program has enrolled over 50 students.
I am encouraged by the number of interested students and the support we have received from our partners and business and community leaders alike. I invite you to join me in developing the next generation of leaders.
More about Point Park University's Professional Career-Readiness Center
The Professional Career-Readiness Center includes:
- Cooperative education program
- Career Development Center
- Career-focused curriculum/soft skills
- Industry-experienced faculty
- Center for Student Success
- Professional facilities
- Downtown Pittsburgh location