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Project RECONNECT Launched

Tuition Payments, Support Services Now Available to Students in Southeastern Pennsylvania Who Re-Enroll and Complete Credentials in Health Care, Technology and More

Do you know someone who was enrolled in college or a technical training program who was not able to complete their degree or certification due to unforeseen challenges?

On June 1, the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) unveiled “Project RECONNECT,” which will provide financial assistance to at least 100 students across Berks County, Chester County, Delaware County and Montgomery County for expenses, such as tuition, childcare, transportation and more. This program is intended to remove obstacles and support the completion of their degree or certification. Priority will be given to career pathways in health care fields.

“This is an amazing opportunity for students who may have been pursuing training as an EMT, RN, LPN, dental hygienist, med-tech and so much more, but faced challenges including access to transportation, childcare, financial strain and health care issues,” said Bethanie Emery, CCEDC’s Lead Navigator for the initiative. “Project RECONNECT is committed to providing the financing students need to re-enroll and be successful, as well as the support services required to help them overcome the hurdles to their career paths.”

CCEDC is administering the first-of-its-kind, cross-county collaboration and invites students to apply at https:\\\reconnect as soon as possible so they can enroll for in-person and online programs that may start as soon as this summer. The Chester County Workforce Development Board is the fiscal agent for a grant awarded to three counties by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

“This program is such a gift and has the potential to really change a student’s future, but it only lasts until June of 2024, so we are urging students to apply immediately,” said Patti VanCleave, Vice President of Workforce Development at the CCEDC. “Yes, it’s a time crunch, but it’s vital to our students’ success. We are able to assist students from learning institutions across southeastern Pennsylvania, which can result in newly credentialed students to the workforce in the industries that need it the most.”

Students must have disengaged from their post-secondary education programs in the past two years, have a GPA of 2.0, and less than one year left for a certification credential, associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree. Each student will be assigned a Success Navigator who provides a safety net and coaching from day one through completion of credentials, ensuring participation, support, and career development to obtain employment. Once the student’s learning program is completed, CCEDC will connect them with employers as well as workforce development programs like PA CareerLink® and CCEDC’s Health Care Connect and Hire One programs to ensure they are career ready.

Most common support needs for participating students may include tuition payments (current expenses and previous/outstanding balances), flexible scheduling, childcare and transportation expenses while in school, health and wellness, family support, language access, internet access, and assistance in addressing food and housing insecurities.

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