How Prepared are Students for the World after High School

A Conversation about the Industry-Based Learning Indicators of the Future Ready PA Index
DATE: January 16, 2020
TIME: 9:30 AM—2:25 PM
Hosted by—Slippery Rock University
Lunch Included
Event Supported by
Slippery Rock University
First Choice Federal Credit Union, Lawrence County
Pittsburgh Technical College
Milton Hershey School

A Presentation by Laura Fridirici and Nick Paolini
Laura Fridirici brings 21 years of classroom teacher expertise in business and special education with a focus on career and workforce readiness for all students.  She also brings a workforce perspective from her previous career experiences in both business and higher education.  Laura attained her B.S. in Education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her M.Ed. in Education and a M.Ed. in Special Education from Wilkes University.  She attained her principal certification from Point Park University and is the Special Consultant to the Secretary on Career Readiness.  Originally from southwestern Pennsylvania, her career path led her to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Ms. Fridirici believes that “every child has a vocation” and is firmly committed to seeing that happen as Pennsylvania’s future depends not only on a well-educated and skilled workforce, but youth who are passionate about their work.

Nick Paolini has 15 years of experience in public education, Nick serves Erie, Warren, and Crawford counties as the Asst. Director of School Improvement Services at the Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit.  Additionally, he serves as the Region 1 Career Ready Liaison encompassing eight counties in northwest Pennsylvania assisting public schools with career ready initiatives.  He received his education from the Pennsylvania State University (B.S. Social Studies Education), Edinboro University (M. Ed Secondary Instruction and Superintendent Letter of Eligibility), and Gannon University (K-12 Principal Certificate) while supporting local education agencies with a variety of efforts anchored in curriculum, instruction and assessment.  Nick feels strongly that the primary goal for every educational system should be to prepare students for postsecondary success and acknowledges that this is unique for every learner.

Participants will:

o Learn details from PDE related to the Industry-Based Learning Indicator of the Future Ready PA Index
o Hear from educational leaders who will share their systemic practices that meet the criteria of the Industry-Based Learning Indicator
o Establish connections with organizations that are willing to assist local education agencies with meeting the requirements of Industry-Based Learning Indicator
o Generate questions for a diverse focus group that will include educators, students, non-profit organizations, U.S. military, workforce development boards, employers, state/local government, and trade/labor organizations

Focus Groups/Group 1 comprised of educators/Group 2 comprised of Business and Higher Ed

Sample questions that will be discussed:

*Employers want to know about Career Ready Skills: attendance, work ethic, accountability, responsibility, etc.  How are schools explicitly addressing these skills before students enter the workforce?
*In order to be career ready, students’ need to be financially literate. Many students and parents often complain: my child can perform better math, but may not know how to file taxes, create a family budget, or balance a checkbook. What is the role of financial literacy in today’s curriculum?
*What is the perception of Career and Technical Education by parents, students, traditional high school educators? What could communities, educators and businesses do to improve this perception?
*What advice would you provide a non-CTC educator aspiring to coordinate activities that would meet the criteria of the Industry-Based Indicators?
*What can I do in the future to support Career Education and Work standards in the district?

Participants are encouraged to submit questions. What do you want to hear about from LAURA FRIDIRICI /NICK PAOLINI and/or the FOCUS GROUPS? Email questions to

If you have difficulty registering online: simply email the registration information to the address above. If you have questions call Herb Hunt at 724-494-0968. Your registration will be confirmed within a week.

The Event is open to Administrators, Teachers, Counselors, Parents, Board Members, College Professors and everyone interested in the success of students in grades K-12 and beyond.

For Counselors, 3 NBCC contact hours may be awarded for attending this event.

To register complete the registration form at

Register early because space is limited

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