For Immediate Release
The Education Service Centers of Auglaize and Mercer Counties recently held a career planning retreat at Minster Elementary School. The event was created to bring resources together to assist local area educators with the development of career curriculum specific to district needs. Invited attendees included middle and high school principals, guidance counselors, career exploration teachers, superintendents and others involved in career planning curriculum.
The day’s events kicked off with a welcome from incoming AMBE President, Randy Hemmelgarn of Stammen Insurance. Hemmelgarn provided a brief overview of the mission of the AMBE Alliance, to connect businesses with the local schools and students. He shared the success of the AMBE hosted spring events Career Connection Forum & Talent Connection Forum. Hemmelgarn expressed AMBE’s commitment to build a foundation of good information for the career events to continue for years to come.
Ryan Burgess, Director of the Governor’s Office in Workforce Transformation for the State of Ohio was in attendance. Burgess addressed the crowd by commending the attendees on dedicating their lives to young people and the organic collaboration, “You would think that (collaboration) is common in other parts of the State, but it is not”. Burgess stressed the Governor’s interest in “capturing the imagination of students”, and added that career centers achieve this goal by providing students hands-on learning. “The Governor desires for every individual to rise to their God-given ability”, stated Burgess. Burgess challenged the attendees to not measure outputs, but to measure outcomes. “Never confuse efforts with results”, said Burgess.
Representatives from the Auglaize Mercer Business Education (AMBE) Alliance held a panel discussion outlining the area/regional employment needs. Brian Styer of Nidec-Minster highlighted the successful outcomes of Tri Star Career Compact students who begin working part-time as high school juniors or seniors. Styer noted some of the students continue their education by pursuing two or four year degrees, continuing to co-op at Nidec-Minster.
“Those (students) are the one who rise to supervisory roles”, said Styer. “These students become employees who develop a wealth of knowledge about our products”, added Styer.
Alicia Jutte of Coldwater Machine Company shared the co-op and apprenticeship opportunities available. She added their “…skillset needs require math and science, communication, critical thinking and problem solving”. Deb Hemmelgarn of Mercer Health spoke of all the non-medical positions that need to be filled at the hospital, citing positions from housekeepers to physicians and everything in between. Hemmelgarn stressed the importance to “maintain quality health care locally”. All panel members agreed that interview skills need to be improved by candidates. Several candidates have great resumes, but often times the lack of interview skills eliminates the candidate from selection.
During open discussion Scott Minnig of Wapakoneta City Schools shared the value of resources available to the students. “The Talent Connection Forum is great, giving students a chance to talk to businesses face-to-face”. Minnig also commented on Hometown Opportunity, “I like the virtual tours. The videos allow opportunity to be inside the business. I want to see the (video) library continue to grow”.
An afternoon session had area districts sharing career programming currently taking place in their schools. This provided an opportunity for the school districts to see how they could bridge gaps in their own career curriculums. The activity also proved that the Ohio Means Jobs and Hometown Opportunity sites were frequently used among the local schools.
To finish the day’s events, Carrie Cubberley, Dean of Students ofACE Academy and local economic development professionals informed attendees of connections and resources currently available in the area. Cubberley demonstrated the online career connections curriculum available through ACE (Auglaize County Education) Academy. She explained the blended and online classrooms are vertically aligned for career awareness, career exploration and career planning. She stated the goal of the program was to “design and implement a relevant, engaging career connections curriculum. Angela Hamberg, New Bremen Economic Development shared the importance of continuing education. “College and career is not a fork in the road”, stated Hamberg. “It is about how are you continuing your education, whether through certifications, apprenticeships, 2 year or 4 year degrees”, added Hamberg. Susan Crotty, St. Mary Community Development Manager shared the success that St. Marys has had through their Business Advisory Council. The BAC actively engages business and education. For the past 3 years, the BAC has sponsored an education course for St. Marys educators. The course is modeled after the Auglaize County VALU class, where different industries are explored. Teachers who participate learn more about manufacturing, health, government and agriculture and the role they play in the success of the St. Marys community. This assists in the classroom, by being able to cite real world examples. In addition, the teachers earn CEUs for participating. Jared Ebbing, Mercer County Economic Development Director commented “that everything discussed today is an effort to help connect more dots. Anything we can all do to help provide more tools for educators and businesses to collaborate on ideas, initiatives, and projects is a good thing for the long-term future of our communities”.