SIDNEY — The Midwest Regional Educational Service Center (MWRESC) has announced the awarding of a $1.1 million Straight A Grant from the state of Ohio.
This grant entitled Career Network provides a hands-on manufacturing curriculum, field experiences at Rhodes State College, and opportunities to earn a Basic Manufacturing Credential and a paid internship.
All participating schools in Shelby County, Anna, Botkins, Fairlawn, Russia, Sidney City, and the Sidney Shelby County Opportunity school, have partnered with Rhodes State Community College who will be providing the college-level content and assisting with updated curriculum and course progression.
The Career Network attempts to increase the number of young people who complete high school; to enable students attain a post-secondary credential valued in the labor market; and to prepare students to begin a stable and satisfying career that will provide the foundation for further education and career advancement.
“We are at a crucial point in education where students, parents and educators must learn and value options for students other than college,” Heather O’Donnell, MWRESC superintendent said. “There are many career paths to success for students, including excellent local options. The more students, parents and educators learn about and experience these options, the greater the chance for success our students and communities as a whole will have. This grant supports that learning process, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”
Recognizing that not all students want or need to pursue a four-year college degree, the creation of the West Central Ohio Career Network through Rhodes and the West Central Ohio Manufacturer Consortium, will provide 40 hours of instruction on topics including manufacturing process, safety, quality control, real world mathematics, communication, and workplace skills. In addition, students will engage in team-building and communication exercises to prepare for future careers. This coursework has been incorporated into current coursework in participating schools’ curriculum’s.
The West Central Ohio Career Network grant gives today’s youth the opportunity to be successfully employed and helps maintain America’s ability to remain competitive globally by meeting the increasing demand for a technically skilled workforce, and address the ever widening economic and opportunity gap.
Participating schools are collaborating with Director Deb McDermott of the Work-Force Partnership of Shelby County to provide possible job shadowing and internship placements. The hope is that, through this program, local schools will develop full partnerships with area businesses. This program will enable students to explore educational and work experiences that will lead to full time employment, while at the same time providing area manufacturers with students who possess the necessary skills to enter the work force.