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Penn Community Bank supports MontcoWorks Apprenticeship Program at Montgomery County Community College with $25,000 donation

Nov. 14, 2022, Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Penn Community Bank, the largest independent mutual bank in eastern Pennsylvania, has contributed $25,000 to Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) in support of its Workforce Development Division’s new MontcoWorks Apprenticeship Program (MAP).
 
MAP is an earn-while-you-learn program that offers MCCC students the opportunity to gain in-demand workforce skills and college credits at no cost. Apprentice-students train alongside experienced professionals, receive mentorship and guidance, while earning a steady paycheck from a partnering employer. Upon completion of the program, apprentices receive an industry-recognized credential and will have acquired up to 36 college credits.
 
“Penn Community Bank’s generous donation to the MontcoWorks Apprenticeship Program is an important investment in the well-being of our communities and the regional economy. MAP will ensure future generations have sustainable career pathways, which provide a better life for themselves and their families. Similarly, employers gain the skilled workforce needed to stay competitive in the global market,” said MCCC President Dr. Victoria L. Bastecki-Perez. “The College greatly appreciates Penn Community Bank’s support of our students and this innovative earn-to-learn program.”
 
“Connecting employers and jobseekers just makes sense. As a corporate citizen and vital part of the community, it’s our job to support and expand job training efforts in the region to ensure a strong local economy for generations to come,” said Bernard Tynes, Penn Community Bank Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing & Impact Officer. “We’re grateful for MCCC’s leadership in this space and proud to continue our regional support for job training and workforce development.”
 
This donation will help fund the associated costs for MCCC’s Division of Workforce and Economic Development to train mentors for industry partners, who will work directly with apprentices and teach them the tools of their trade and how to grow and succeed in the workplace. At the end of the program, apprentices will go on to earn family-sustaining jobs, while also filling a workforce shortage among area employers.
 
MAP will begin with the 24-month industrial maintenance mechanic apprenticeship. It is an employment and training pathway supporting careers in several high-priority occupations in Montgomery County and beyond. Industrial maintenance mechanics perform maintenance and repairs on machines and work in various fields, such as pharmaceutical production, food processing, medical device, automotive parts, and aeronautical manufacturing. MAP began with this career in an effort to address the shortage of workers in this highly in-demand field. 
 
“The MontcoWorks Apprenticeship Program is a pilot program to engage our employers in the Montgomery County region who are facing significant workforce shortages,” said Kyle Longacre, Dean of Workforce and Economic Development. “We are working to recruit really good apprenticeship candidates for our program and help them prepare to interview with our employer partners.”  Longacre continued, “We are committed to being industry-guided in our training programs and consistent in working with our advisory board in making program improvements.
 
Apprenticeship programs change the arrangement between education and industry in that it brings the employment of a student to the beginning of the journey, as compared to the middle or the end of the education journey, he said. Companies make a two-year commitment to hire and train inexperienced, students. The student also signs a two-year contract to participate in a dual-curriculum training process with on-the-job training competencies and related technical instruction at the College.
 
As the MAP program continues to grow, MCCC plans to partner with career and technical centers, area nonprofit organizations and school districts to share these opportunities with more students. Existing employees of companies also may enter the program for additional training and college credits.
 
MAP is designed to be replicated across other industries outside of maintenance mechanics and manufacturing as well. Companies interested in participating in an apprenticeship program are encouraged to contact the College to discuss potential opportunities.
For more information about the Montcoworks Apprenticeship Program, visit mc3.edu/apprentice. To find out how to support the program, contact the Montgomery County Community College Foundation at mc3.edu/foundation.
 
About Penn Community Bank
Penn Community Bank holds more than $2.6 billion in assets, employs more than 300 people, and offers banking and lending services at 20+ bank branches and three administrative centers throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties, Pennsylvania. As an independent, mutual financial institution, Penn Community Bank is not publicly traded and operates with its long-term mission in mind: to help businesses grow and prosper, to provide financial resources to individuals and families throughout their lifetimes, to strengthen the local economy, and to partner with local organizations to act as a catalyst for positive growth in every market it serves.   
          
About Montgomery County Community College 
For more than a half century, Montgomery County Community College has grown with the community to meet the evolving educational needs of Montgomery County. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as customized workforce training and certifications. Students enjoy the flexibility of learning at the College’s thriving campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, at the Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale, and online.  

 
As an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to remove barriers to access, improve learning outcomes, and increase completion for all students. The College also is recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, community service and service-learning opportunities, and use of classroom technology. For six consecutive years, MCCC has been named one of the Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges in the nation by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development for its commitment to diversity through inclusive learning and work environments, student and staff recruitment and retention practices, and meaningful community service and engagement opportunities. For more information, visit https://www.mc3.edu.
 
About Montgomery County Community College Foundation
Established in 1983, the Montgomery County Community College Foundation provides scholarships for deserving students, grants for faculty projects, equipment and technology, emergency funds for students in need, support for cultural enrichment activities on campus and financial resources for other college programs and activities. The Foundation is able to make a difference in the lives of our students thanks to the generosity of alumni, parents, community friends, private foundations and corporations. To see how you can make a difference and discuss how your gift can be most meaningful to you, contact the Foundation at 215-641-6324 or foundation@mc3.edu.
Photograph: Penn Community Bank recently donated $25,000 to support the Montcoworks Apprenticeship Program at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC). From left: Kyle Longacre, Dean of Workforce and Economic Development; Jay Browning, Executive Director of the Foundation; Dr. Victoria L. Bastecki-Perez, MCCC President; Bernard Tynes, Penn Community Bank Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing & Impact Officer; Rick Battaglia, Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending at Penn Community Bank; Sandra Benedict-Ziegler, Vice President & Director of Training & Development at Penn Community Bank. Photo by Linda Johnson.

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