Workforce Challenges and OpportunitiesOn Wednesday, September 12, 2018, several community leaders, including BCIU Executive Director Dr. Jill Hackman, met with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Senior Leadership to discuss innovative strategies that leaders in Reading are implementing to better prepare residents, and ultimately the 70,000 students in Berks County, to participate in the local economy as employees. The discussion led by Dr. Patrick

Harker, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, highlighted the great work being done in Berks County regarding Career Ready Berks and the career pathways initiatives.

“While sharing local best practices regarding workforce development and education was a focus of the round table, it was interesting to learn of innovative strategies on a national and international level,” said Dr. Jill Hackman. “The discussion was valuable for all our key partners in attendance.” These key partners, representing economic development, education, and business, included Dan Fogarty, Director of Workforce Development and COO of the Berks County Workforce Development Board; Dr. Jill Hackman, BCIU Executive Director; Dr. Susan Looney, President of Reading Area Community College (RACC); Jodi Corbett, Director of Academic Partnerships at RACC; Kevin Murphy, President of Berks County Community Foundation; David Myers, Director of the O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Public Service at Alvernia University;

Randy Peers, President and CEO of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance; and Michael Toledo, President and CEO of the Centro Hispano Daniel Torres Inc.

Following the round table discussion, senior leadership were given a tour of Reading Area Community College’s Schmidt Training and Technology Center which showcased how the center is being used to prepare those in and out of the workforce for occupations available in the local economy. The event, including round table discussion, lunch, and tour, was held at RACC.