UcanB – Share Your Career Journey

»Posted by on Feb 19, 2018 in Business, Career Education for High School Students, Learning and Education, Social Media, U can B | 0 comments

Career education for schools in the region expands into the Mon Valley. The UcanB program has succeeded in schools around the Pittsburgh area, and has expanded to schools throughout Pennsylvania. In many of the schools where our program has been offered, students are experiencing mentorship, technology, and the first time they were ever given information on planning a successful career. We reach students in communities, and build stronger connections between students, parents, schools, and area businesses with our opportunity fairs, that match community members with local employers. How do I become a UcanB Speaker? The process to becoming a speaker is straightforward and will work to ensure that Building Bridges and UcanB career education is the best fit for you. The process includes: 1. Complete the online information session by phone (15 minutes) 2. Apply online (8-10 minutes) 3. Complete an in-person interview with staff (30 minutes) 4. Pass a background and finger print screening (15 minutes after in-person interview) 5. Participate in Training (1.0 hour) Please reach out to if you are interested. What is Building Bridges for Business? Building Bridges is a 501(c)3 organization that educates and empowers through: • U can B Career education program (Educating 6th-12th grade students on careers) • Job fairs and job placement for students and adults • The Coffee With Show • Building the Bridges across the business and workforce ecosystem Other Ways that you Can You Get Involved? • Donate to our U can B career education program and help provide students with the skills they need to succeed. All contributions are tax deductible and support classroom education and job placement. • Ask us about our EITC, Education Improvement Tax Credit, program for your business. • United Way Donate Now –...

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UcanB Teacher Wins Achievement Award at Ice Gala

»Posted by on Jan 29, 2018 in Business, German American Chamber, German Dual Apprenticeship Program | 0 comments

Ice Gala – January 27, 2018 – I received a distinct honor tonight from the the German American Chamber of Commerce for the work I’ve done through the Building Bridges U Can Be Education Program. A program that I’ve been working with High Schools in the area. Visit I was completely humbled and caught off guard. I wanted to share this with you.  – Alexander Nichols on Winning award at ICE GALA Apprentice background – No other apprenticeship system is as widely applied and successful as the German system. Every year, 1.5 million people train in the German system. Because of this, Germany enjoys the lowest youth unemployment of any industrialized nation (7.1%), and youth unemployment far below the United States (16.8%) and the Eurozone average (22.3%). With over 125 German companies in the Pittsburgh region, there is an enormous demand for skilled employees with specialized training and education. Following the completion of our pilot program, GACC Pittsburgh Chapter and our Partner, UCanB are proud to introduce the German Style Apprenticeship Program to the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Partners for the pilot included VEKA Industries, Seneca Valley High School, Rosedale Technical College. GACC Pittsburgh Chapter collaborated with partners to develop a curriculum specific to VEKA’s job requirements and based on the IHK’s “Verfahrensmechaniker fuer Kunststoff- und Kautschuktechnik, Fachrichtung Halbzeuge” curriculum. Seven senior students began the apprenticeship for extrusion operation with VEKA Industries, the world’s largest extruder of uPVC profiles in January 2016. The program has now expanding to include seven companies with a range of the IHK’s apprentice modules, providing skilled workers to Pittsburgh businesses and job security to local students. OUR PARTNER Certification The German American Chamber of Commerce, Pittsburgh Chapter’s Dual Apprenticeship Program has been registered by the State of Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry and approved by the Pennsylvania Apprenticeship and Training Council and the Federal Committee on Apprenticeship. The certification will be recognized on a state and federal national for the Process Mechanic in Polymer Technology (includes Extrusion and Blow Mold Operators) and Mechatronics Technician. Upon completion, the apprentices will receive certification by the German American Chamber of Commerce, Pittsburgh Chapter and recognized by the State of Pennsylvania and throughout the US....

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Coffee With a Real Estate Expert

»Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 in Business, Business Advice, Christopher Evans, Coffee With, Coffee With on CBS, Dani Gundlach, Real Estate | Comments Off on Coffee With a Real Estate Expert

  Welcoming a seasoned Pittsburgh resident and veteran real estate agent, the Coffee With Show is excited to have Dani Gundlach on the show to talk about all of the reasons Pittsburgh is the place to live. Today on the Coffee With Show we are having Coffee With a Real estate Expert. Dani is the founder of INHABIT Pittsburgh, a real estate collective that uses an innovative cooperative approach to produce amazing results for their clients. Dani is time-after-time one of the most successful and accommodating real estate agents in Pittsburgh, having been recognized for her excellent service on multiple occasions. Dani has been working in Pittsburgh real estate for 15 years, and has been living in the East End for 20. After observing that the city and its real estate climate was quickly changing, Dani took the initiative to found a brokerage unique and innovative enough to keep up. Enter INHABIT Real Estate Collective. At INHABIT Real Estate Collective, Dani offers traditional realty services to homebuyers and sellers along with commercial and development accommodations. INHABIT Real Estate Collective’s team-based approach means that Dani has more power to innovate her business processes and accelerate results for the team’s clients. Dani has used her experience in realty and in Pittsburgh to redefine the capabilities of real estate, and her efforts have gained lots of attention. She’s been named a five-star real estate agent by Pittsburgh Magazine and Trulia. In her spare time, Dani develops a weekly podcast, Houses and Hills. Houses and Hills is a weekly conversation with people who are making a mark on the Pittsburgh Landscape. They’re talking with Makers, Shapers, Collaborators, and Innovators about their work and life in the City of Bridges. Never miss an episode when you subscribe on iTunes. Look up Houses and Hills on Facebook or at Learn more about why Pittsburgh’s real estate becomes more attractive every day by tuning in to this episode of Coffee...

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German Dual Apprenticeship Program in Pittsburgh

»Posted by on Mar 11, 2016 in Business, German Dual Apprenticeship Program | Comments Off on German Dual Apprenticeship Program in Pittsburgh

The skills training system in Germany is a widespread and popular way to prepare young people to be effective contributors in the workplace. In the German dual training model, theory and practice are combined in a nationally standardized curriculum designed for each of 300+ careers; a young person is employed by a company in a training position and, at the same time, is also enrolled in a vocational educational program to acquire needed classroom knowledge. The two parallel experiences reinforce each other. No other apprenticeship system is as widely applied and successful as the German system. Every year, 1.5 million people train in the German system. Because of this, Germany enjoys the lowest youth unemployment of any industrialized nation (7.1%), and youth unemployment far below the United States (16.8%) and the Eurozone average (22.3%). This approach has been adapted for use in the United States, often with support from the German Embassy’s Skills Initiative. One example is South Carolina, where German-owned companies faced a shortage of skilled workers to fill open positions that offered good pay, job security and a career path. The same problem exists in Pittsburgh, where some of the local employers cannot easily find the right mix of skills and education in job candidates. At the same time, Pittsburgh’s youth unemployment rate remains at 18% (above the national average) because of the skills gap that exists. In order to address this need, the partnership between Building Bridges for Business and the Pittsburgh chapter of the German American Chamber of Commerce has adapted the German dual training model for application in the Pittsburgh area. The project connects young people seeking skills training and employment with apprenticeship programs at Pittsburgh area companies. The apprenticeship program, facilitated by Building Bridges and the GACC involves time split between traditional classroom education and on-the-job training in the field that the trainee is interested in. The trainees are recruited as high school seniors, and they will be given the opportunity to finish their high school degree during the program. The curriculum for the program is based on the existing standardized German curriculum for each profession. The goal is that at the end of the program, the trainee will have a job waiting for them in the skill area from their host company, and the company will have a well-trained future employee so that both employer and trainee will benefit from the program. As a result of that, the local economy will have more resilient companies with a globally-minded, competitive workforce, and lower youth unemployment....

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Youth & Entrepreneurship: Progressing Past Lemonade Stands

»Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Business, Learning and Education, U can B, Youth Entrepreneurs | Comments Off on Youth & Entrepreneurship: Progressing Past Lemonade Stands

Youth entrepreneurship is growing rapidly in the United Staes and internationally. These stories prove that kids can be just as impactful in the business world as adults! With programs like U can B, we can prepare the next generation for college and beyond. More importantly, we can start unburying their passions today instead of tomorrow. Age is just a number. Let’s teach our kids there’s nothing they can’t master with a little knowledge and hard work. After that, we’ll see more and more youth entrepreneurial success stories, just like these! Rachel Zietz: Gladiator Lacrosse In 2013 at the age of 13, Rachel Zietz founded Gladiator Lacrosse. As a lacrosse player herself, Rachel found that sports equipment was too expensive and not particularly durable. To solve this problem, she has created a line of quality and affordable rebounders and practice goals for lacrosse players. Three years after its founding, Gladiator Lacrosse generated more than $1 million in revenue and Rachel was honored as one of the finalists for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Entrepreneur Award. Moziah Bridges: Mo’s Bows Moziah is only 14 years old, but he is already the CEO of his own company! Fueled by his love for fashion, this dapper CEO launched his own bow-tie business at age 9. Since its launch, Mo’s Bows has been featured on the Steve Harvey Show, the Today Show, Good Morning America, and Shark Tank. Mo hand picks every fabric and approves every visual element, and has sold more than $300,000 worth of bow ties and men’s accessories. Additionally, he’s dedicated to giving back to society. In 2012, Moziah started “go mo!” a charity focused on sending Memphis children to summer camp. Youth entrepreneurial success stories don’t have to be headline news. As technology and society advances, our education system needs to follow. That’s where programs like U can B come in. With courses in entrepreneurship, students grades 6-12 can be inspired from a young age to create their own opportunities in life! Together, we can make these types of success stories a prominent part of our culture, and not so taboo. Investing in our youth is investing in everyone’s future....

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Grow your Facebook Reach

»Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in Branding, Business, Business Growth, Social Media | Comments Off on Grow your Facebook Reach

Three Ways to Maximize Your Facebook Reach You’ve had your Facebook brand page for months, invited your friends and received some initial Likes, filled in your About section and started posting here and there – but after that first couple months when your total Likes and overall reach started to taper, you began to wonder – What is this doing for my business? The truth is – if you aren’t doing anything with Facebook, it probably won’t do anything for you. A hammer purchased and then left in the tool box won’t drive any nails, after all. But rest easy – these three simple tips can help you boost your online image, spur your Facebook growth, manage your relationships, heighten your visibility and – ultimately – drive your sales. 1. Reward Your Audience – Whether you offer a coupon or simply just mention your audience members, a little reward can go a long way. Try creating a ‘Fan of the Week’ or ‘Fan of the Day’ to create interpersonal engagement that drives Likes to your page. If people see their friends are getting rewarded, odds are they’ll want a free slice of pie too! You’ll also want to make sure you’re providing your audience with a mix of information they can use in their daily lives, in addition to promotions for your business. If you make it about THEM, they’ll make it about YOU. 2. Keep Your Content Fresh – If you don’t update your content regularly, your page will fall by the wayside and people will have no reason to check on it, aside from never being reminded about your presence on their newsfeed. How often you post a photo, status, link or event may depend on how busy things are for you, but don’t forget that the social space is all about sharing. Ask your audience how they are, share industry news, and talk about current events with a spin that ties your business into the equation. The Web is near infinite, so you should never really have an excuse not to have something to say. At the very least, post 2-3 times a week – but not more than 2-3 times a day (people don’t like to be bombarded either). 3. Be Proactive – Many argue that the social media space is a new public relations function – and PR is all about establishing and maintaining relationships. Keep in mind that it’s highly likely that no one is looking for your page, which means you have to invite them in. Ask your friends to give you a Like and connect with other local non-competing businesses and non-profit organizations by Liking their page and sharing their content. Facebook is all about taking the initiative to start a conversation and then making the effort to keep it going! These three tips should help you get your Likes up, improve your reach and boost traffic to your page – but it’s important to have realistic expectations and to be patient. If you keep yourself focused and have a daily or weekly social media plan that utilizes all of these ideas, keeps you focused, and efficiently maximizes your gains by minimizing your time spent, you can expect realistic growth in your numbers and carry that over to your...

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