History of T.E.E.N.

On June 7, 2005 T.E.E.N. partners met in West Middlesex PA for an initial meeting which took the form of a focus group to preliminarily determine the range of industry needs and to delineate strategies to address identified skill gaps. An official planning proposal was submitted by the partnership for consideration by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry on July 6, 2005 which was subsequently approved for the 2005-2006 fiscal year. The employer partners expressed a consensus need for truck drivers which has been designated a High Priority Occupation. As a result, the T.E.E.N. partnership procured a research firm to articulate and assess employer and worker needs, identify and map career pathways, ladders and lattices. At the same time, founding employers began finalizing a pre-existing training curriculum (1st Seat Driver) drafted in conjunction with the Transportation Employment Network (TEN).

In the summer of 2006, T.E.E.N. prepared a continuation grant proposal to build upon the foundation established during the previous program year. In 2006 the partnership hired an industry expert to assume the program management role. The partnership took significant strides, expanding total members by nearly 500% and incorporating the three counties of the Tri-County LWIA. Training also increased from 100 seats to nearly 1000 seats within the first two years. Extensive community awareness and outreach efforts ensued and new ideas were brought forward such as federally registered apprenticeship for Truck Drivers and a DVD marketed to youth.

In August of 2007 the partnership received industry partnership and worker training funds to continue the two-fold strategy toward increased recruitment and retention resulting from community outreach and advanced training. Since early 2007, the partnership has crafted a solid foundation and accomplished many of the goals and objectives established during the preliminary stages of development, including: finalization of youth DVD production and packaging, training of an additional 1250 PA residents, development of a formalized steering committee structure and establishment of federally recognized apprenticeship programs for several of T.E.E.N.’s industry partners.

In 2008, the business partners experienced a significant downturn much in part to a weakened U.S. economy and significant loss of manufacturing leading to lower supply of freight. As a result the need for increased focus on struggling small, local L&T; businesses became evermore apparent. T.E.E.N. also increased partnership participation by nearly 25%, identified challenges and opportunities of participating firms, distributed DVD’s to area high schools which were accepted as part of their career exploration component to secondary education, researched new technologies and began implementing a more formalized structure of governance and stakeholder recruitment.