Advancing workforce and economic development in Bucks County | July 2021
New Program Year Resolutions
Each July, the Bucks County Department of Workforce and Economic Development (WED) celebrates the passage of one program year and the beginning of another. The new year is a time of reflection on our impact and resolutions to better serve our community. As WED looks back on the last 12 months, which presented unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19, we have made positive changes in program delivery with great success.

In March 2020, PA CareerLink® Bucks County staff quickly pivoted to meet job seeker needs by offering virtual enrollments and online services with a full virtual services rollout by June 2020. Shifting one-stop programs, such as résumé workshops and job counseling, ensured uninterrupted services and helped mitigate transportation barriers. PA CareerLink® Bucks County locations now offer a hybrid of services, both on-site and virtually, to increase accessibility for all clients.

Looking ahead, WED has affirmed its commitment to expanding apprenticeship opportunities for on-the-job training credentials that empower a highly skilled workforce in Bucks County. In May 2021, the PA Department of Labor & Industry awarded WED the School-To-Work Grant, a pre-apprenticeship program that begins this month. The program is a partnership between WED, the Wistar Institute, William Tennent High School, the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, and the Pennsylvania Society for Biomedical Research (PSBR). Centennial School District students will engage with a STEM-focused curriculum that emphasizes problem-solving in the classroom and the workplace.

Thank you for being part of these successes and stay connected to monthly updates throughout the year.
Celebrating Success
Christine's Story
Christine wanted to establish a career in medical billing and coding to help support her daughter. But she faced many obstacles as a single parent without reliable transportation, stable wages, or family support.

Referred to the Employment Advancement and Retention Network (EARN) program, Christine began her journey toward self-sufficiency with the support she needed in financial literacy, skills training, and job placement. Christine focused on a self-directed educational plan with Ashworth College and made substantial progress in her goals while opening employment opportunities in the healthcare industry.

Working with her Career Counselor at PA CareerLink® Bucks County, Christine received an On-the-Job Training opportunity with Gentell, Inc. The experience helped her expand her skills and enhance her résumé. Then, after a successful interview, Gentell offered Christine a full-time position as an Order Intake Specialist.

Christine continues to express her eagerness to succeed, always encouraging her daughter to stay focused. She is now poised to reach her potential with the support provided by the EARN program and looks forward to career growth with excitement.
Upcoming Events
WED Talks Webinar: Building Effective Teams
Through Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion is an important and timely topic across the country. But how can professionals best achieve it in the workplace? Don't miss this event to find out!

Join us at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 14, 2021, for a special WED Talks webinar featuring Ron Davis, M.Ed., Director of Diversity and Community Development at Parx Casino®.

Davis will share strategies to create a supportive culture through team-building learning activities that increase employee engagement and morale. Workforce professionals will discover how to chart a path for successful diversity and inclusion management. Its implementation empowers team members to work collaboratively and unlock the potential of all employees in the workplace and the greater community.
Workforce and Economic Development News
Meet Our Board Member: Erin Lukoss
As Vice Chair of the Bucks County Workforce Development Board, Erin Lukoss brings her passion and expertise for connecting people with the resources they need to thrive. Lukoss serves as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Bucks County Opportunity Council (BCOC), the community action agency for Bucks that addresses the needs of people in poverty. WED is grateful for her leadership in promoting economic self-sufficiency throughout Bucks County.

A list of all Bucks County Workforce Development Board members can be found at buckscounty.gov.
WED congratulates Dr. Felicia L. Ganther on her new role as President of Bucks County Community College (BCCC). An accomplished administrator, gifted educator, and strong advocate for students, Dr. Ganther began her tenure on July 1, 2021. Welcome, Dr. Ganther, and thank you for BCCC's commitment to strengthening workforce partnerships.
The County of Bucks is pleased to introduce its new website, which launched on June 15, 2021. WED’s homepage contains information for the local business community, including labor market data, COVID-19 resources, PA CareerLink® Bucks County updates, and more. Be sure to bookmark the How Do I Section for all your county-related web searches.
As Bucks County continues on a path to post-COVID economic recovery, you can help by supporting local small businesses. Check out this interactive map with information to meet your shopping needs. If you are a local business owner and would like your business to be included in our guide, please email bucksbacktowork@buckscounty.org with your business name, contact name, website, phone number, physical address, and industry type.
Individuals reentering the community after incarceration often face challenges in gaining employment. The Bucks County Reentry Coalition and its Education and Employment Subcommittee, co-chaired by WED Executive Director Billie Barnes, created an online toolkit for reentrants. This resource is designed to connect reentrants with services and opportunities upon their release.
Entrepreneur Spotlight: Tiny Steppers®
Created by Matt Russell, Tiny Steppers® are flexible foot bands that encourage toddlers to walk while also giving parents the security to hold onto them as they take one step at a time together. The idea came about while Russell was playing with his four-month-old daughter, who had just developed her standing reflex.

“Back in October 2019, I said to my wife, ‘I’m going to go online and buy something to keep her feet in place.’ But I was shocked to learn there was nothing out there. So I decided I was going to make something. About a year later, Tiny Steppers® became a reality,” Russell said.

Russell has kept everything from design and prototyping to the finished product in Bucks County, where he plans to grow and scale the company.
PA CareerLink® Bucks County Updates
In-Person/Virtual Services Continue in July
PA CareerLink® Bucks County locations in Bristol and Perkasie are open for in-person services by appointment Monday through Friday. To assure continuity of service for clients, workshops and assessments are now being held on-site as well as virtually.

PA CareerLink® Bucks County will host a Behind the Wall Hiring Event for reentrants from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, July 22, 2021. If you are an employer who would like to attend, please contact the Business Services Team at 215-781-1073.
Hot Jobs and Information Sessions
Did You Know?
#MadeInBucks: Support Local Farms
The Bucks County landscape is filled with abundant farms and resplendent orchards that host year-round activities for everyone to enjoy.

Discover the assortment of homegrown produce ready to go from farm to table and support Bucks County agriculture.
Image of the Liberty Bell
Photo of a car lot with cars for sale