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Region 3 Works Council Begins Evaluating Career and Technical Education Needs

Fort Wayne, IN – The Region 3 Works Council has begun working toward evaluating and further developing career and technical education to meet the needs of employers in northeast Indiana.

The council, which is comprised of 15 local business, education, workforce and economic development leaders, met for the first time Thursday night and approved an initial report that will be submitted to the state. The group is one of 11 councils statewide that resulted from a measure approved by the Indiana legislature earlier this year.

“The Region 3 Works Council is off to a great start,” said John Sampson, council chair and president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. “Given the depth of business and education leadership assembled by Gov. Mike Pence for the Region 3 Works Council, we are in a strong position to assess and guide career and technical education to respond to the needs of employers.”

An Indiana Business Research Center report released by the Indiana Career Council in September noted a skills gap largely affecting middle-skill jobs that often require an associate degree or postsecondary vocational education certification. The report said the Indiana educational system has generally downplayed the role of preparing people for vocational and technical occupations, even though two-thirds of U.S. job openings this decade will require an associate degree or vocational certification.

Twenty-four thousand northeast Indiana high school students in 2011-2012 participated in career and technical coursework.

“Northeast Indiana has made progress in providing such opportunities, but our challenge in expanding the scale of market-relevant educational offerings is evident,” said Kathleen Randolph, council secretary and president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Workforce Investment Board. “I have no doubt we will succeed in our region.”

Others on the Region 3 Works Council are: Cindy Atkinson, retired executive director of Mad Anthony’s Children’s Hope House; Wayne Baker, superintendent of the Bluffton Harrison Metropolitan School District; Brian Bauer, CEO of Lutheran Health Network; Dawn BonAmi, director of academic affairs support/secondary education at Ivy Tech Community College Northeast; Patrick Buesching, learning and development manager with 80/20 Inc.; Keith Davis, president of Star Wealth Management; Nate Fink, president of Hagerman Construction Corp.; Tim Holcomb, director of the Impact Institute; Marty Palmer, president of Auburn Gear Inc.; Grant Porter, executive vice president of Formula Boats; Debra Stam, director of leadership and organizational development at Parkview Health; Daniel Sullivan, general manager of Frontier Communications Corp; and Douglas Thieme, outreach coordinator with the Region 8 Education Service Center.

"The inaugural meeting of the Region 3 Works Council was a great demonstration of collaborative partnership at work,” said Jaclyn Dowd, special assistant to the governor for career innovation. “I am encouraged by the council's early progress and look forward to how their continued efforts will advance career and technical education opportunities for high school students in northeast Indiana."

About the Northeast Indiana Regional Workforce Investment Board: The nonprofit Northeast Indiana Regional Workforce Investment Board provides public and private financial and employment resources to businesses and individuals for education and skills training to meet the needs of regional industries. The board sets policy for how public and private funds are utilized to support talent development. It also operates and staffs the 11 county-based WorkOne career centers in the region. Individuals and companies may access resources and services by visiting or calling WorkOne in their county.

About the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership: The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership creating business investment by generating business leads, developing product and fostering regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. The Partnership serves 10 counties in Northeast Indiana, including Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit www.NEIndiana.com.

CONTACT: Rick Farrant, Director of Communications,
Northeast Indiana Workforce Investment Board
OFFICE: 260.469.4306
CELL: 260.414.6249
EMAIL: RFarrant@WorkOneNE.org


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