To address the unique challenges facing the human services workforce in Lancaster County, Millersville University and Excentia Human Services will partner on training and professional development for human services professionals. On July 13, officials from Millersville and Excentia signed a memorandum of understanding on the partnership.
The partnership will include developing Excentia Human Services’ Center for Training and Professional Development and creating two customized training programs.
“These programs will help our university meet regional workforce needs while providing new pathways for learners,” says Dr. Daniel A. Wubah, president of Millersville University. “We’re excited to collaborate with Excentia, one of the region’s largest and longest-standing human service providers, on training and professional development.”
In the past two years, the intellectual disability and autism community has experienced a mass exodus of direct support professionals causing great concern, as they are vital to providing supportive services to people with developmental disabilities and autism. Reasons for this departure include a lack of competitive wages and few career advancement opportunities. Many agencies agree that their workforce is reaching a critical point in providing services to people, especially within the ID/A community. Through this partnership, Millersville University and Excentia Human Services can enhance career ladders for DSPs, portability and expansion of a well-qualified workforce in Pennsylvania.
With Millersville University, Excentia Human Services is offering two, customized training programs for their direct support professional and supervisory staff. As part of the “DSP Enrichment Program,” employees can achieve their DSP I certification through the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals. Following their certification, they may begin work towards a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work at Millersville University. Employees at Excentia Human Services also can attend the “Excellence in Human Services Leadership Certificate Program,” eventually leading them to supervisory positions.
“We want our employees to be prosperous and have exciting growth opportunities at Excentia Human Services,” said Excentia Human Services CEO, Chris Shaak. “We know this requires us to invest in our employees in new and innovative ways. By creating this partnership with Millersville University, offering tuition assistance, and providing a bonus for participating employees, we hope our employees see how much we value them as professionals and individuals.”
Excentia Human Services expects to graduate 15 employees from its Center for Training and Professional Development in its first year.
For over 50 years, Excentia Human Services has provided support to people with developmental disabilities and autism in Lancaster County. Per its name, Excentia Human Services nurtures the unique essence that defines individuals and recognizes the excellence in everyone. With residential, children, and community life services, Excentia Human Services’ almost 300 employees are dedicated to providing services throughout the lifespan for all people to have equal value and opportunities to lead productive and fulfilling lives.
About Millersville University:
Millersville University of Pennsylvania is a top-ranked public university located in the northeast region of the United States. It is committed to offering students a high-quality, comprehensive university experience of exceptional value. Dedicated to providing nationally recognized programs that embrace the liberal arts, Millersville offers academic opportunities that are supported by outstanding faculty who are accomplished scholars and practitioners. Founded in 1855 as the first Normal School in Pennsylvania, Millersville University is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.