In 2012 the Greater Reading Economic Partnership (GREP) launched a marketing campaign, Careers in 2 Years (CI2Y). This campaign is designed to target middle and high school aged students and their parents to consider career and technology school as a viable option for their future. This year, GREP launched Careers in 2 Years 2.0 targeting returning veterans and underemployed/unemployed individuals to promote retraining or additional training for a technical career. The focus for both targeted groups is to qualify more individuals for high-paying manufacturing jobs immediately available in Berks County and throughout all of Pennsylvania.

The Careers in 2 Years campaign focuses on high priority occupations in Berks County, and these careers include applied manufacturing, information technology, mechatronics engineering technology, drafting and machining. The goal of this campaign is to increase awareness and get more people through a technical training pipeline so they are prepared to obtain existing, good-paying jobs in Greater Reading.

“We constantly hear from manufacturers in Berks that it’s a challenge to find skilled workers,” said Deb Heffner, GREP’s economic development coordinator. “We can help them by educating the public about the opportunities with manufacturing in Berks.”

Manufacturing Day is a nationwide event which aims to bring awareness to training and careers in the manufacturing industry. On Saturday, October 3 GREP hosted the area’s first-ever Berks Manufacturing Day at the RACC Schmidt Training & Technology Center.

Berks Manufacturing Day was a two part event open to families and individuals of all ages. The day began at the Reading Area Community College – Schmidt Training and Technology Center (RACC STTC) where participants had the opportunity to meet representatives from local companies and training facilities. Participants also had the opportunity to tour Greater Reading manufacturing facilities and hear from employees about their experience in manufacturing. The companies that offered tours include:

  • American Crane & Equipment Corporation
  • Brentwood Industries
  • Cambridge-Lee Industries LLC
  • East Penn Manufacturing
  • Remcon Plastics

Over 160 people were registered for the event and approximately 100 people were in attendance. Senator Judith Schwank joined the event.