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EASTERN Welding Technology Seniors Participate in PA Talent Pipeline Program Signing Day

On May 23, 2024, two Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) Welding Technology seniors were accepted into apprenticeships with Rhoads Industries, as part of the Pennsylvania Talent Pipeline Program’s Signing Day at the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing. The outstanding Welding Technology seniors recognized were Jacob Parkinson from Hatboro-Horsham High School and Charlie Cribb from Upper Moreland High School.

The Talent Pipeline Program energizes and engages the American economy by developing and maintaining a talent pipeline focused on the maritime and defense industries. This program enables employers to revitalize their workforce through the recruitment, hiring, training, and retention of skilled workers with critical trade skills. Over one year, these new employees become productive and engaged members of the workforce.

Mr. Steve Catherman, a long-time supporter of EASTERN’s Welding Technology program and Rhoads Industries' Director of Fabrication and their Training Center, introduced Masea Paradis, an EASTERN Welding Technology and Abington Senior High School 2023 graduate, and current Rhoads apprentice. Masea discussed how EASTERN’s Welding Technology program and her instructor, Mrs. Meghan Cicchino, provided the motivation she needed to thrive in the field.

“This event was amazing,” said Mrs. Meghan Cicchino, EASTERN’s Welding Technology Instructor. “I was so proud that two of my current students are officially signed on with Rhoads Industries as apprentices, and it was thrilling to hear about all of Masea’s success and how her education at EASTERN contributed to that success. Rhoads designed the apprenticeship, and Masea was in the second class. Because of how quickly she progressed, they rewrote the curriculum so she could continue learning. At the Philadelphia Shipyard, there is a fleet of submarines at the end of their service lives that need to be replaced. That is a major task. It is no secret that employers have a hard time keeping skilled employees. These are careers, not just jobs. These employers take care of their employees because they need them.”