(BEDFORD) – The North Lawrence Community School Board approved the North Lawrence Community School Corporation Strategic Plan .
In March of 2018, Joe Timbrook, Director of Career Development of Lawrence County Economic Growth Council, stated the Lawrence County’s Workforce Coalition was created after receiving an Indiana Skill Up 3 Grant from Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development.
The grant totaled more than $1,000,000. It was written with three goals/objectives and four strategies to achieve those goals. The grant is funded through May of 2020.
Joe Timbrook managed the grant process and progress. This grant project encompassed overseeing a core team comprised of local stakeholders that operates much like a directing board, as well as multiple task forces to guide specific efforts.
The mission statement of the Lawrence County Workforce Coalition is to ” Increase the number of workers qualified to fill employment positions by adopting an industry-driven approach that workforce needs with education training offerings.”
There are three main goals that guide the grant:
- Preparing all students for careers while in high school
- Increase postsecondary attainment
- Increase adult education, training program certifications and employment.
In order to achieve those goals, five strategies were developed. The first of those strategies was to increase the utilization of the North Lawrence Career Center by youth and adults in the region.
Other areas of focus included increasing the number of internships and apprenticeships in the region. Over one-year, there were more than 153 internships developed.
In addition, there was an increase in the job skills of the unemployed and underemployed with outreach to justice-involved residents. In conjunction with Vincennes University, over 2,500 residents were targeted who lived in Lawrence County who did not have their high school diploma . This outreach landed a three hundred percent attainment year to date.
The fourth strategy was to create a first PTech school in Indiana. However, it was decided they were not in a position to move forward with that during the timeframe of the grant.
Matt Fleck of Fleck Education presented his findings to the North Lawrence Community Schools following a review of the North Lawrence Career Center. He received permission to develop a strategic plan for the career center.
The Career Center hired Brad Street as the North Lawrence Career Center Director . Brad helped guide the Career Center to upgrade equipment and improve programs offered by the career center.
The North Lawrence Career Center Strategic Plan has five components that embrace a key audience which include, students, teachers, school programs, employers and community.
Discussions started in the Fall of 2019, North Lawrence Career Center Strategic Plan Steering Committee. Discussions became a working vision to transform the North Lawrence Career Center and the district career center into the best Career and Technical Education program in the state and nation.
Using that vision, the Steering Committee identified 15 key challenges that a strategic plan needs to address. The Strategic Plan Steering Committee began drafting a more substantive vision, mission, and goal statements.
In October, the committee translated its 15 needs statements into a comprehensive set goal and strategy that was presented at a stakeholder meeting of employers and school representatives.
In November 2019, the North Lawrence Career Center Strategic Plan Steering Committee took each goal and grouped it by a specific audience. They set up strategies, action steps, a timeline, and metrics to assess progress. The 2020-2024 North Lawrence Career Center Strategic Plan was finally approved by the North Lawrence Advisory Council. The North Lawrence School board voted Thursday night to approve the final Strategic Plan.
The main goals of the plan include:
- Students – The purpose of Goal 1 is to raise student awareness, motivation, and readiness for careers in the North Lawrence Career Center & Technical Education District, the Southern Indiana Region, and the State.
- Teachers – The purpose of Goal 2 is to support career readiness and Career & Technical Education courses by increasing the number of qualified, Career & Technical Education instructors and developing all teachers’ awareness.
- School & School Programs – The purpose of Goal 3 is to expand the quality of Career & Technical Education programs to meet industry standards and local employer needs.
- Employers – The purpose of Goal 4 is to align all North Lawrence Career Center programs to key current and future employer needs.
- Community – The purpose of Goal 5 is to increase parent and community awareness of the value of Career & Technical Education and the array of high-wage, in-demand career opportunities available to students at all education levels.
The Career Center has received upgraded equipment for the Health Science and Machining Equipment programs to get the Career Center to industry standards in the types of equipment that are being used today.
Fall 2020 plans of the career center include incorporating a Law Enforcement Career. Other plans may include Heavy -Equipment Operators partnering with the Indiana Labors Institute in the near future.
In last night’s School board meeting Ryan Turner stated when he attended the Career Center in early 2000 these programs made a huge impact on his career path, the amount of pay he has received due to his skills learned, and helped him with knowledge to operate his own business successfully.
“I fully support these efforts to help students of today achieve their career goals. These programs are great for our community and it’s future,” Turner noted.