Goodwill and CSHRA Organize Youth Professional Development Conference

November 14, 2012, Press Release
Nearly 250 Students from 15 High Schools in Cambria and Somerset Counties to Attend

JOHNSTOWN, PA, November 14, 2012—Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies and the Cambria-Somerset Human Resources Association (CSHRA) have organized their first-ever Youth Professional Development Conference designed to connect high school students with local human resource and other agency professionals to better prepare the youth for the workforce in a competitive job market. This inaugural event, themed “Success is Intentional,” is planned for November 28 from 8:45 A.M. to 1:30 P.M. at the Frank J. Pasquerilla Conference Center in downtown, Johnstown.

The specific entities of the two collaborating organizations are Goodwill’s Southern Alleghenies Career Education Partnership (SACEP) and CHSRA’s Youth Outreach Committee. Over the past year, they have successfully promoted the conference to area school districts, coordinating the attendance of nearly 250 students in grades 10–12 from 15 high schools in Cambria and Somerset counties. In addition, approximately 25 adults representing school counselors, administrators, and chaperones will attend.

Key to this youth conference are the sessions that will be delivered by many local professionals who will provide first-hand accounts of how they pursued and obtained employment in their fields. They will also focus on the importance of soft skills that employers demand, the high-priority occupations in the area, and the advantages of living and working in our region. These professionals represent the companies of Manpower, Inc., AmeriServ, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, Cambria-Rowe Business College, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Highmark, Inc., and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.

“It is our goal that the students will walk away with a greater awareness of the importance of well-developed community networking and career-related skills for obtaining, retaining, and advancing in a career,” stated Phyllis J. Bandstra, Goodwill’s President and CEO.

The main intended outcomes of the organizers include:

  • Delivery of a unique event demonstrating local businesses’ interest in youth career development
  • Opportunities for youth to experience a rich training opportunity based on models from around the region and around the state (i.e., Pittsburgh’s Imagine! Career Week and Bedford County’s Steps to Success Day)
  • Development of the youth pipeline for the workforce

The committee plans to build on this year’s pilot conference and make it an annual event for area youth. The event is offered to students free of charge, thanks in part to many area sponsors.

For more information on the Youth Professional Development Conference, contact Aimee Garay, SACEP Program Manager, Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies at (814) 536-3536, ext. 288 or

Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley (GICV), Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1962 to empower individuals and families with employment barriers to achieve their fullest potential in the community through work services. Headquartered in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, GICV serves individuals with disabilities and disadvantages, dislocated workers, youth, and other job seekers throughout south central Pennsylvania in the counties of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Huntingdon, Indiana, Somerset and a portion of Westmoreland by providing education and career services as well as job placement and postemployment supports. GICV is a community-based member organization of Goodwill Industries International, a 179-member network in the U.S., Canada, and 13 other countries. Learn more at
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