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By Jill Brubaker Reigh
Hollidaysburg Correspondent 

H-burg District Receives Workplace Grant


January 16, 2020




Educators in the Hollidaysburg School District will be pairing with local business leaders thanks to the “Teacher in the Workplace” grant from the Department of Education to improve classroom instruction by connecting educators with local employers, according to Senator Judy Ward (R-30) and Representative Jim Gregory (R-80).

Meant to bridge the gap between the classroom and industry, this program will enable educators to visit local employers to learn skills and industry trends that will enhance their classroom instruction, student learning and career readiness.

Hollidaysburg Area School District Superintendent Dr. Robert Gildea, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Francine Endler and Dawn Summerville, data management administrator, are spearheading this $25,000 grant program for the district.

Dr. Gildea said, “The Teacher in the Workplace grant will help the Hollidaysburg Area School District advance our goal of aligning our course offerings with the needs of regional employers and to provide our students with the skills needed to be college and/or career ready.” 

The Teacher in the Workplace Grant will permit the Hollidaysburg Area School District to increase partnerships with workforce and economic development organizations, public libraries, non-profit organizations, post-secondary institutions, etc., to build a local capacity to provide career readiness experiences and opportunities for students. Participating teachers will have the opportunity to experience site visits with businesses/industries who wish to engage in the program. By providing teachers with the knowledge of what each type of business or industry’s expectations are and will be in the future, students will have the capability to assist determining their future endeavors and be prepared for their role in our global society.

With the implementation of the Teacher in the Workplace Grant, Dawn Summerville said that the grant will allow the district to not only continue current implementation but to enhance the current course of study in assisting students with future endeavors. She said, “We are in the beginning stages of implementing the Teacher in the Workplace grant. The first step will be to contact local businesses/industries as well as meet with a representative to provide participating teachers with a bio of their organization.”

The Hollidaysburg Area School District recently established two Occupational Advisory Committees. The committee consists of five Business, Computer and Information Technology (BCIT) teachers and three vocational technology teachers. The goal of the Hollidaysburg Area School District is to increase teacher interest and involvement in the Occupational Advisory Committee. By increasing teacher interest and involvement in the district’s Occupational Advisory Committee, teachers and administrators can collaborate to improve coordination and alignment of education and workforce development programs, services and funding. 

The funds will be utilized for professional development of participating teachers, supplies to incorporate a personal finance class, opportunity for students to tour the Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center, curriculum writing, and the purchase of updated equipment for the woodshop classroom. 

“It is critical for schools to give students the tools they need to thrive in the workforce, but the nature of today’s economy means that the needs of employers are constantly evolving,” Ward said. “I am grateful that these grants will help local school districts provide valuable new educational programs and opportunities for the next generation of leaders in business and industry.”

“I’m very happy that the business community is being heard by our education policymakers to understand the importance of real work connections to teach students job skills that are needed in our communities,” Gregory said.

A total of $2.2 million was awarded to 92 education entities statewide in the current round of funding. This is the first Teacher in the Workplace Grant for the Hollidaysburg School District.

More information about the program is available at


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