School counselors get community update

Staff report

SIDNEY — School counselors from the Upper Valley Career Center and most Shelby County school systems were updated on local United Way and Shelby County Workforce Partnership initiatives recently.

They also learned about a new program, Careers in Construction.

Scott Barr, executive director of the Shelby County United Way discussed the new 211 Get Connected, Get Answers program. By calling 211, local residents can get information about available services, including food, clothing, shelter, aid to crime victims, childcare, elderly care and transportation.

He also updated the group on the Character Playbook — Building Healthy Relationships course and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, through which children receive free books.

Mick Given, of Ferguson Construction, discussed Careers in Construction. The goal of the program, he said, is to work with local schools to plan activities and programming that will promote the skilled trades. He spoke of the job opportunities including apprenticeships and training available locally. He noted that many jobs do not require college degrees but provide good pay and benefits. The businesses sponsoring Careers in Construction are Sollmann Electric, Area Energy and Electric, Slagle Mechanical, Regal Plumbing and Heating and Ferguson Construction.

Deb McDermott, director of the Shelby County Workforce Partnership, shared a suggested curridulum and expalined a planned career-a-month activity for next school year. McDermott is working with the schools to plan career exploration activities. There are 33 Workforce partners.

Staff report