All posts tagged students

First SEE Event Held at Vo-Tech

Businesses and students came together at the Venango Technology Center (Vo-Tech) in May for the first Student Employment Event (SEE). This wasn’t a typical job fair—it was held for businesses currently hiring and students looking for employment currently or soon.

More than 20 businesses and 100 students attended, and many students scheduled filled out applications and/or scheduled interviews at the event.

“We appreciate all who were involved with planning and carrying out the SEE event,” said Terri Williams, guidance counselor at Franklin High School. “Early feedback from employers and students was very positive!”

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s June 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

PFEW Breakfast Highlights Student Experiences

venango2At a breakfast held by the Chamber on Wednesday, November 7, at Venango Technology Center, 14 students from local schools gave testimony to their experience at Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW). Scott Lee, VP of Marketing for PFEW, led the discussion by giving a brief overview and then prompting the students to share their own stories.

“PFEW is life changing,” one student said, while many nodded in agreement. The students expressed that while the week had it’s challenges, they each learned valuable skills about business, communication, time management, and building interpersonal relationships.

One of the students in attendance shared a moving story about how her week at PFEW influenced her. She said when she returned to school this year, she noticed students eating alone at lunch and invited them to Venango3sit with her. They are now friends of hers and are more involved in the school community. She credited her change in perspective to one of the speakers they were introduced to at PFEW.

Seeing the difference that the week-long summer program made in these local students’ lives was enough to make you want to get involved yourself. For more information on PFEW and how you can volunteer, visit


This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s December 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Job Shadow Opportunities at Your Business

Picture1With the new school year beginning, students will return to a variety of programs aimed to prepare them for entering the workforce.  Many of our local school districts encourage or even require students to job shadow.

The Education Committee of the Venango Chamber is working to identify how we can assist businesses in being prepared for requests for students to spend time with them.  As with any learning experience, a job shadow will be most meaningful if both the student and the business have considered and agreed on the expectations for their time spent together.

We will be asking businesses to complete a short online form, if they are willing to host a student and provide specific information that a student will need to know before requesting to shadow.

Some businesses may have limitations on what areas they can allow students into, due to safety or confidentiality, but many can still provide a glimpse into why a student should consider a future in a specific line of work.

“Businesses throughout the county and across all industries have expressed they are struggling to find qualified and willing workers,” Chamber President Susan Williams shares.

“We believe the very best way to prepare students today for jobs tomorrow is to invite them into businesses, where they can observe the skills or education needed to pursue a vocation available here in Venango County. It is important for them to see where family and friends are employed and ideally exemplify pride in the work they do.”

If your business welcomes students, please complete our form at:

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s September 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW) Hosts 63 Venango County Students

PFEW1Your Venango Area Chamber of Commerce is all about business! We love supporting not only local business, but anything that educates our youth about business and future employment opportunities right here in Venango County. That’s why for years we’ve supported Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW). This award-winning program teaches students to understand and celebrate our American private enterprise system and provides a unique, hands-on learning experience that helps students develop the vital skills businesses need to succeed.

This summer, 63 students from Cranberry Area, Franklin Area, Oil City and Rocky Grove high schools, along with one home school student joined over 2,000 students from across the state to participate in the 40th annual PFEW summer program recently concluded in Williamsport.

At PFEW, students form management teams of approximately eighteen students and run their own manufacturing company, competing against other student companies. Throughout the week, world class speakers address the students on a wide variety of topics germane to the business world and their personal and professional development.

It is not only a powerful educational experience, it can be positively life-changing.

Here are several quotes from local students who attended this year’s program:PFEW4

“My time at PFEW can be summarized in one word: growth. I do not know how different my life would be if I did not attend this camp. Thanks to your selfless sponsorship, that uncertain future has developed into a confident, hopeful one.” – David Ferraro, Franklin Area High School

“This experience was very beneficial to me. Though I am an honors student taking AP level courses, I cannot think of another experience to prepare me for the real world. It was here that I learned to have more faith in myself, and all that I can accomplish.” – Rachel Bell, Cranberry Area High School

“Without PFEW, I didn’t know what my purpose was, but after the first few days, I knew this week would change me. I am leaving PFEW with new found knowledge of the business world and all it has to offer. You are who got me here. You are why I changed this week. You have given me a purpose.” – Saige Slater, Cranberry Area High School

The program is taught entirely by volunteer practitioners from the PA business community, and each year, over 200 volunteers are needed to put on this world-class program.

StudenPFEWlogoRGBclrts attend via a $625 scholarship donated by a local business, foundation, civic organization or individual. This year, ten Venango County organizations provided scholarship support for their local students to attend.

To get involved as a donor or volunteer, or to discover more about PFEW, visit their website at, or call Scott Lee at 814-833-9576.



This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s September 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Schools & Industry Partnership Group Seeks Additional Industry Partners

RTI3 - CopyThe purpose of this group is to foster a relationship between schools and industries while developing programs to focus on missing soft skills and to build a pipeline of students (i.e., applicants) for future vocational positions (Assembler, Machinist, Maintenance, Welder, etc.) in Venango County.

The Schools & Industry Partnership Group meets three times a school year (fall, winter & spring) to discuss the needs of the school districts and how local employers can get involved. The employers’ participation helps to reinforce common policies that carry through from high school into the work place. Examples of such policies include the importance of attendance and the importance of being drug free. And at the same time, the employers are working with school personnel to improve student career and soft skills. Employers represented in this group are able to share with students (and parents) that there are great jobs (and good companies) right here in Venango County.

Specifically, during school year 2016-2017, employers participated in mock interviews, assembly presentations, career days, open houses, student job shadows, plant tours for guidance counselors, and perfect attendance awards for students at two local schools.

In 2018, the employers in the Schools & Industry Partnership group are looking to continue these events as well as incorporate an end-of-the-year student perfect attendance award with all the schools. Employers & School Personnel, there are currently 39 individuals (including 11 employers) committed to growing this partnership between the local schools and the employers in Venango County. If you haven’t been participating in the Schools & Industry Partnership Group but you have interest in doing so, please contact: Jaci D’Amico or Janet Stewart