The Keystone Community Education Council (KCEC) is one of nine not-for-profit Community Education Councils (CECs), funded largely by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, to serve the education and economic needs of each of their service areas. KCEC service area includes the counties of Clarion, Crawford, Mercer, and Venango, and their surrounding areas. KCEC has proven to be an essential component in driving the rural economic and educational engines in their area by performing multiple rules in the communities it serves:
- KCEC is an unbiased facilitator/broker of educational programs with the unique ability to be fluid and provide needed educational programming, both “in time and on time” to the communities it serves.
- KCEC serves as a resource and clearinghouse for businesses and individuals seeking to access post-secondary education and training
- KCEC identifies and fills current needs as well as predicting future needs, and has demonstrated a 2-1 return on investment.
- KCEC continues to be an integral partner in building a more competitive rural workforce and strong rural economies.
- KCEC facilitates business partnerships and consortia
- KCEC uses collaborative efforts to promote change and assist in increasing the skills of the local rural workforce through a wide range of training programs from one-day computer skills seminars, to Manufacturing Certification and Apprenticeships
The Keystone Community Education Council takes a more regional approach to supporting their service area. As an example, foreseeing the importance of the Marcellus Shale Initiative, they began developing strategic approaches to meeting the needs of the Oil, Gas, and Petrochemical Industry in their service areas. The Keystone Community Education Council was founder of the NWPA Oil and Gas Hub Taskforce and continues to facilitate the organization.