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Potthoff: Local higher ed. initiatives key to business growth

Potthoff: Local higher ed. initiatives key to business growth


As Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC) continues to focus on workforce development in our region, a key partnership in achieving the goals set forward is working with our higher education institutions on curriculum and courses that will prepare students for well-paying careers after graduation.

CAEDC asked our institutions to share new programs and initiatives they are working on to strengthen their offerings to students and prepare them for careers that are needed in the region.


Messiah College has added two new graduate programs that line up with Cumberland County’s increase in job opportunities in the healthcare industry. Both programs curricular focus incorporates community service, cultural relevancy and global engagement.

The Master of Occupational Therapy program is designed to successfully prepare students to serve as occupational therapists in a variety of professional settings.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy is designed to prepare competent therapists for meaningful careers as practitioners, educators, administrators and consultants in a variety of professional settings.

Messiah has also constructed a new Finance Lab. The Ralph S. Larsen Finance Lab (opening Fall 2017) will equip students with state-of-the-art technology and market data in a Wall Street trading floor atmosphere. Students will become proficient with how to use a Bloomberg terminal to research historical and real-time data on stocks, bonds, economic indicators, foreign currencies, commodities and options.


Dickinson College continues to focus on entrepreneurship and global education through a variety of new initiatives.

With a focus on entrepreneurship, the Innovation Competition at Dickinson offers a competitive platform for entrepreneurial students to pursue an idea about which they are passionate. Mirroring Dickinson’s core values – global and civic engagement and sustainability – the innovation competition seeks ideas for a process, product or service that have both economic and social value, are sustainable in nature and local or global in scope.

This year, Dickinson joined the American Talent Initiative (ATI), a group of 68 of the nation’s most respected colleges and universities, which is committed to attracting, enrolling and graduating more high-achieving lower-income students. ATI, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, brings together a diverse set of public and private institutions united in this common goal.


Dickinson Law is working to enhance its impact in healthcare law through medical-legal advocacy, joint degree programming, and partnerships with the adjacent non-profit, private, and public sector legal community.

Law students in Dickinson Law’s Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic are working to reduce health disparities and improve livelihoods in vulnerable communities through joint medical-legal advocacy. The Clinic collaborates with medical providers from Penn State Medical Group in Harrisburg and Sadler Health Clinic in Carlisle to address the health-impacting legal needs of the community.

The innovative Children’s Advocacy Clinic is an interdisciplinary clinical program that brings together law students, graduate social work students, and pediatric residents and psychiatry fellows from Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center to address the needs of children, represent them in the legal system, and navigate problems in the child welfare system.

Dickinson Law’s Community Law Clinic represents individuals living near or below the poverty line in matters of family law such as divorce, support, custody, adoption, and protection from abuse; and in disability law matters such as ability discrimination, special education, Americans with Disabilities Act claims, and Social Security Disability Claims.


In the last year, Shippensburg University has expanded its academic offerings with 5 new programs tooled specifically to meet market needs.

By the year 2024, the Commonwealth workforce is forecasted to need a supply of more than 4,000 mechanical engineers, and south-central Pennsylvania is identified as an area with one of the top demand gaps in the state. Ship’s new Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering will help relieve that gap.

Ship’s Bachelor of Science of Sustainability will meet the growing demand for jobs in natural resource conservation. Such jobs are projected to increase 11.3 percent by 2026 and natural resource management jobs are projected to increase by 5.5 percent in the same time.

Shippensburg University is also a regional leader in training those who will train our future workforce. Our new Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) is the only AACSB-accredited business administration doctoral program at a public university in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Additionally, the university was awarded nearly $1 million dollars in federal grant funding its Lead Urban Leadership Residency Program. The program is designed to prepare aspiring principals for leadership positions in Pennsylvania’s high-needs urban schools.

Finally, last academic year Shippensburg University became the first state system school to offer a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurship degree ensures that Shippensburg University will provide the region’s workforce with talent ready to meet the ever-changing demands of the marketplace in the 21st Century.


Skills in strategy and organizational leadership are embedded into the curriculum at Central Penn.

Central Penn students continue to benefit from the recently renovated Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Health Sciences Building. Students from the college’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences participate in classroom lectures and hands-on laboratory experiences within the state-of-the-art facility. Enrolling in the fields of healthcare management, health science, medical assisting, occupational therapy assistant and physical therapist assistant, the college strives to continue its support of the local community’s healthcare employment needs.

This summer, students in the college’s Business Seminar class participated in a global business simulation competition that incorporated a new business strategy simulation as a culminating experience of the business degree program.


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