2016 Greene County Reentry Conference and Job Fair

The 1st Greene County Reentry Conference and Job Fair was held on June 24th at the Greene County Fairgrounds.  Thank you to all that were involved!  It was a great success.    2016-GreeneCo-ReentryConference-Observer-6-28-16

Southwest Training Services, Inc. becomes a PA Charitable Organization

Recently, Southwest Training Services, Inc. applied for and was registered as a Charitable Organization with the PA Department of State, Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations under the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act and is authorized to solicit charitable contributions under the conditions and limitations set forth under the Act.

County officials, agencies discuss manufacturing workforce, development resources

Herald Standard Newspaper; Posted: Monday, March 21, 2016 2:00 am

Dennis Davin, DCED secretary, told the gathering of business owners, educators, development agencies, county officials and state legislators from Greene, Washington and Beaver counties that the DCED has resources available to help businesses.

Gov. Tom Wolf wants to increase funding for PA First, which provides grants and loans for job training, equipment and property purchases, working capital and demolition.

“The real challenge is educating our workforce,” Davin said.

The 2015-16 budget allocates $16 million for the Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania, or WEDnetPa, and provides funding to employers for training employees, he said.

One of Wolf’s priorities in the 2016-17 budget is the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA), Davin said. PIDA offers low interest loans and lines of credit for businesses that create and retain full-time jobs and develop industrial parks and multi-tenant facilities.

Davin said the Office of International Business Development (OIBD), which helps local companies with exports and encourages foreign investment in the state, helped businesses record $3 billion in export sales and create and sustain 25,000 jobs in the state. OIBD has offices in 26 counties, he said.

Southwest Training Services Inc. of Washington, runs a program that uses federal money to pay half of an employee’s wages up to $8,000 if a company in Greene or Washington county trains and hires the employee, said Lisa Neil, company president

Neil said Southwest also offers free pre-employment screenings and tests for businesses and helps workers find and train for jobs.

She told the business owners that unemployed coal miners will be looking for jobs.

“We have a lot of great guys who want to get back to work,” Neil said.

Don Chappel, director of the Greene County Industrial Development Inc., encouraged all employers to consider hiring former coal miners to fill job openings.

He also encouraged businesses to seek tax exempt financing for expansion or purchases.

Beaver County Community College meets with three to five employers weekly to develop programs that students need to land jobs, said John Goberish, of of the school’s workforce development department.

The school works with Nova Chemical Corp., BASF Corp. and FirstEnergy to design programs for industrial jobs, such as process control, he said.

“We meet with industry to modify curriculum to match jobs,” Goberish said.

James DeNova, vice president of the Benedum Foundation of Pittsburgh, said the foundation provides grants to career and technical training agencies in southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia.

Private philanthropy can provide grants to programs that the government might find too risky, he said.

“We can risk failure with private dollars that you can’t with public dollars,” DeNova said.

Chevron has committed $20 million over four years to workforce training, he said.

The governors of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia signed pact to work with each other on employment, DeNova said.

The apprenticeship and training office was recently created in the state Department of Labor and Industry to help create apprenticeships and expand apprenticeship programs into businesses that haven’t used them in the past, said Frank Staszko, assistant regional director of the department of labor.

Athena award finalists announced by chamber

Observer Reporter Newspaper Published: March 19, 2015

Athena award finalists announced by chamber

The finalists for the 2015 Washington County ATHENA Award were announced by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce. They are:

  • Ester Clark Barnes, youth program coordinator, Southwest Training Services, Inc.;
  • Anna Berg, operations specialist, Pennsylvania American Water;
  • Katherine B. Emery, President Judge, Washington County Court;
  • Kathleen Kleinmann, chief executive officer, Tri County Patriots for Independent Living;
  • Kimberly Shoup, office manager, Northwest Savings Bank;
  • Mindy M. Zatta, private wealth advisor, Mosaic Wealth Consulting;

According to Jeff Kotula, president of the chamber, the ATHENA Award is an internationally recognized award that honors women’s leadership within the business and civic communities.

“The award promotes women’s leadership by honoring exceptional individuals in the community who contribute in significant ways to the achievements of women and women’s leadership issues,” he said.

Each year the event attracts approximately 300 people to recognize the role of women in Washington County’s economic, social and civic development.

The 2015 ATHENA Award will be presented to one of the six finalists during a lunch presentation May 8 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Southpointe. For more information, contact the Washington County Chamber of Commerce at 724-225-3010.

Neighbors, NiSource Midstream and Range help Southwest Training Services

NiSource Midstream Services and Range Resources recently presented a $6,000 check to Southwest Training Services Inc. to aid in the funding of career awareness and gas industry-related information for young adults in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The check presentation took place at Southwest Training Services headquarters and was attended by representatives of Range Resources, NiSource Midstream Services, local business leaders and elected officials. Lisa Neil, president of Southwest Training Services, was there to accept the contribution. She said that the funds would be used for various career awareness programs, including industry-related camps and industry tours for youth ages 14-21. From left are Neil, Sarah Barczyk and Tony Blando of NiSource Midstream and Mike Mackin of Range Resources.

Gas companies donate to training agency

NiSource Midstream Services and Range Resources donated $6,000 to Southwest Training Services, Inc., to aid in the funding of career awareness and gas industry-related information for young adults in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

During a check presentation ceremony Thursday, Southwest Training Services President Lisa Neil said the funds would be used for various career awareness programs, including industry-related camps and industry tours for youth ages 14 to 21. “Our mission is to provide as much career awareness and industry-related information as we can so that the younger generation can make informed decisions regarding future career goals,” Neil said.

“The oil and gas industry has provided a great economic benefit to the area, and we want our children to understand the tremendous opportunities that exist as a result of natural gas production.”

NiSource Midstream is in the process of working with Range Resources on the East Washington Project, a natural gas gathering system that will comprise approximately 20 miles of field-gathering pipelines to gather local wellhead production through North and South Strabane townships to feed into a nearby Columbia Gas Transmission Line. Construction on the gathering system is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2015.