|12/5/2016 12:36:00 PM
EDC focuses on job seekers
Jennings-Jackson joint program to offer skills classes in advanced manufacturing field
The Jennings County Economic Development Commission has received a $250,000 grant that will be used to provide problem-focused strategies to help area residents find and maintain employment.
The grant is shared jointly between the local EDC and the Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation. It will pay to provide classes that will be held in both counties.
The classes are Life Skills I, Life Skills II and Skills for Success. The first two classes will be provided by instructors from Ivy Tech Community College and the last one will be taught by Purdue University instructors.
“We are recognizing there is a competitive job market in our region,” explained Kathy Ertel, executive director of the Jennings County EDC. “Jackson and Jennings counties share a workforce and we feel like with the types of jobs that are currently here and the high skill level positions that we want to attract, we need this type of program.”
The classes will not teach a specific type of job, but rather they are for training for a specific skill set. Ertel explained the program’s classes will teach more of an advanced manufacturing skill set.
“This will give citizens the opportunity to work in various different positions and are transferrable to many different companies,” Ertel added. “We have partnered with Jackson County Economic Development Commission to be proactive to provide these types of jobs.”
Ertel and Jim Plump, executive director of the Jackson County EDC, learned of the new grants that were going to become available. Ertel and Plump then put their heads together and came up with the idea of sharing the money to provide both counties’ residents with the chance to learn more advanced skills for positions open in local manufacturing.
“There are no longer county lines when it comes to our workforce,” Ertel said. “If you attend the program and have to miss a day, you can run over to Jackson County to make it up. The classes will be ‘mirrored’.”
The classes will be conducted at the Education and Training Center in North Vernon and the Jackson County Learning Center in Seymour.
No start date has been set nor has registering started at this time. Ertel said that in the original grant application she and Plump wanted to begin offering the classes by March 2017.
“When we get a definite schedule set to start signing people up for the classes, it will be publicized in the Plain Dealer and Sun,” Ertel said. “We will be using social media to get the word out as well.”
There will be no fee to participate in the classes.
“We hope there will be a lot of people who take advantage of this very special opportunity,” Ertel added. “If we have a lot of people interested in taking these classes, we hope to find a way to keep the program going. Taking these classes is an excellent opportunity for people in our community who are interested changing positions.”
Keep an eye out around March, 2017 for the big announcement that sign ups are now being accepted for the program.
“We want to especially thank the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs for the grant,” Ertel added. “Now that the Stellar work is complete (which was funded through ORCA), we will be moving on to this project which we hope is the first of many more to come.”