Pottsville, PA - The Northeast PA Manufacturer’s and Employers Council (NEPA MAEC) hosted their annual YES (Your Employability Skills) Recognition Breakfast on May 10, 2023, at St. Nicholas Hall. The event saw a turnout of over 270 attendees including students, teachers, business professionals, and legislators. Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity delivered the keynote address titled ‘Made in Pennsylvania.’
“It was an honor to speak to the students, teachers and businesses participating in the YES Program. YES gives students an incredible opportunity to prepare for life after high school. The partnership between the Northeast PA Manufacturers and Employers Council and area businesses is a fantastic way to prepare the next generation to not only get a foot in the door, but to thrive as members of our constantly evolving workforce. Congratulations to all of the graduates!”
Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Stacy Garrity
This year, NEPA MAEC's YES program was offered by twenty schools with 1,050 students enrolled in the program. Out of those enrolled, 225 students received the YES Certificate. The program aims to address the shortfall of basic skills that employers report seeing in many job applicants by covering 38 modules including communication, team building, interview/resume/cover letter writing, completing a job application, personal finance, conflict resolution, and time management.
To earn the certification and graduate from the program, students must achieve passing scores on both the TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) and the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test, have an attendance rate of 95% or better, pass a six-panel drug screen, complete 120 hours of curriculum, and earn their high school diploma.
Aside from in-class learning, students in the YES program are also exposed to the business community through facility tours, guest speakers, and mock interview events. For the 2022-23 school year, 16 tours were offered with 52 businesses providing tours. The program conducted mock interviews with 60 professionals interviewing over 400 YES students.
Approximately 500 employers in Schuylkill, Luzerne, Erie, and York counties are offering preferred interviewing for YES graduates. The program has demonstrated remarkable connectivity and progress in the relationships between education, business, government, and the community.
"By intertwining academia with industry, the YES program empowers students to transcend the boundaries of the classroom and venture into a realm where their ideas thrive, their potential blossoms, and their aspirations take flight. Students obtain real world insights, mentorship, and collaborative opportunities. Together, the business community and students create a synergy that not only fuels personal growth but also fuels the growth of society as a whole. YES truly is helping to shape the leaders and visionaries of tomorrow."
MAEC President, Darlene J. Robbins
To date, cumulative program enrollment totals 11,547 students, with 3,511 graduates. For more information on the YES Program, visit the Council’s website at www.nepamaec.com or call 570-622-0940.