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Our Grants At Work On The Ground: New Century Careers

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Quick-Train is offered at New Century Career’s (NCC) Training Innovation Center on the South Side and in the Allegheny County Jail. NCC recruits, enrolls, screens and trains job seekers- with a focus on young adults-for this time-shortened (250, 450 or 600 hours) pre-apprenticeship program. NCC is the only Pittsburgh nonprofit organization currently providing this type of training free-of-charge to high school graduates and GED-completers.

With a grant from Neighborhood Allies, NCC purchased tools and measuring instruments for its Training Innovation Center to equip Quick-Train participants with the technical skills needed for successful employment with Pittsburgh’s manufacturers.

The M2K Quick-Train program assists students such as Barbara, from Carnegie, PA, who heard about the program while incarcerated. She previously hoped to work in accounting, but working in that field would now be out-of-reach due to her record. After being released, Barbara spent 3 weeks with nothing to do. Starting the Quick-Train program in July 2016 changed that. “It gave me a sense of pride to come to school every day,” she said. A hard worker and a perfectionist, Barbara has excelled in the program, with 9 projects completed and proficiency in 77 skills, and is currently working on her job search. A mother of one who has been unemployed for the duration of the training, she hopes to turn what she’s learned into a career, seeing it as a first step toward something bigger and better.

During the 4-week Quick-Train program, students are expected to complete and pass 50 ToolingU online course modules on machining-related topics. 22 of 23 (96%) of students who completed Quick-Train during the grant period passed 40 or more ToolingU online course modules, and 20 of 23 (87%) completed and passed 48 or more of the 50 modules in the curriculum. Taking varying learning styles into consideration, staff may allow limited flexibility with online course requirements when students earn two NIMS credentials and show readiness and aptitude for hands-on shop learning. The ToolingU technology has some limitations for struggling students since tests cannot be re-taken an unlimited number of times. Students struggling in math are referred to our on-site tutor.

About NCC: NCC contributes to the economic health of Southwestern Pennsylvania through meeting manufacturing workforce needs by delivering a capable workforce to employers of the region. NCC improves the lives of individuals through the development of skills that lead to good quality family wage jobs and careers. A critical component of the NCC formula is strong relationships with regional manufacturers; they have partnered with more than 160 such employers. For more information visit their website.

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