OnTrack celebrates progress, new home

Submitted photo
La Tara Harris signs a $25,000 check from AT&T, contributing to OnTrack Washington County at the new OnTrack office in Hagerstown, Md. Harris is AT&T’s regional director for external affairs in Maryland.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — OnTrack Washington County recently celebrated a successful year thanks to support from several individuals and organizations, including a $25,000 contribution from AT&T.

OnTrack issued its first-year report during a ribbon cutting ceremony at its new office in downtown Hagerstown.

OnTrack is a coalition of independent community partners focused on raising the educational attainment levels of Washington County residents. The goal is to strengthen the economy and improve the community’s quality of life.

“For our community to thrive we must make a concerted effort to see that every person, regardless of race, class, or ZIP code, is prepared for a rewarding career,” said Jim Kercheval, acting executive director of OnTrack, said in a news release. “Investments in education and career training are the best way to combat poverty and community disengagement.”

Educational, business, philanthropic and civic leaders have been working to create a “cradle to career” support system. One aim is to help people acquire the educational or vocational training necessary for lifelong success. Another is to craft a strategy to educate the public about the need for an educational movement in our community.

OnTrack’s inaugural Cradle to Career Readiness Report highlights the changes in the economic landscape over the last 40 years and the demand for a highly skilled workforce.

The report includes key educational benchmarks that the OnTrack coalition will monitor and sets 2025 goals. For more information or to read the report, visit www.ontrackwc.org.

“By creating a shared mission and vision to improve our local workforce, OnTrack’s 35 Active Partner organizations can better align their limited resources to improve targeted goals aimed at increasing the educational attainment levels of Washington County,” Kercheval said.

La Tara Harris, AT&T’s regional director for External Affairs in Maryland, was on hand for the celebration. She said OnTrack’s work will help prepare the region’s future business and technology leaders.

“Now more than ever, communities need to work together to ensure our young people are equipped with the skills and experiences necessary for success in a fast-paced global economy. OnTrack does just that — bringing together the public and private sectors to prepare Maryland’s future business and technology leaders,” Harris said.

Paul Frey, president and CEO of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce said: “We are grateful for the support of AT&T. It is refreshing to know that AT&T understands the importance of supporting such a critical workforce development and educational initiative like OnTrack. The students of Washington County will benefit greatly from the backing of AT&T.”

AT&T’s support of OnTrack is aligned with AT&T Aspire, AT&T’s signature philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring. Over the past two years, AT&T contributed $50,000 to support OnTrack and its mission.

Follow OnTrackWC on Twitter @OnTrackWC to stay up to date on its work. Follow @connecttogood on Twitter to learn more about AT&T’s support for education and other programs nationwide.

More online

• For more information about OnTrack or to read the Cradle to Career Readiness Report, visit www.ontrackwc.org.

• To stay up-to-date on OnTrack’s work, follow @OnTrackWC on Twitter.

• To learn more about AT&T’s support for education and other programs nationwide, follow @connecttogood on Twitter.