(BEDFORD) – Ten students graduated from Lawrence County’s Intro to Local Jobs & Skills course on Tuesday afternoon.
The course is a three week program that teaches students employability skills and communication skills. The course will also provide students a better understanding of high demand local jobs; such as welding, construction, trades, and machining.
The course is 80 hours of classroom and hands-on training that took place at the North Lawrence Career Center. Each course was taught by the North Lawrence Career Instructors that included; Matt Olson-construction trades, David McCart -welding technology and Brad Gilbert – precision machining.
The graduates include, Jerad Ashley, Gage Gabhart, Michael Gillespie, Bridget Hanks, Connor Morgan, Michael Osborne, Joshua Pickett, Hali Reynolds, Jessica Terrell, and Cameron Veatch.
During the three week program the students built two sheds and two fire pits that are for sale.
“I think this program is awesome, it gives an opportunity to those who are struggling, and I believe more people need to take advantage of this program,” said Janice Bunch who’s grandaughter Hali Reynolds graduated from the program Tuesday.
Janice also purchased one of the shed’s Tuesday to support the program that she truly believes in.
Hali Reynolds will be attending Ivy Tech to study auto mechanics and diesel technology. She has secured a part-time position with LNL Trucking.
“I am just so happy to be able to achieve the things that I wanted for my family and I,” she told the crowd during the ceremony Tuesday afternoon.
During the ceremony the Lawrence County Circuit Court Judge Nathan Nikirk and Lawrence County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bob Cline gave the students encouraging words on the possibilities that lie ahead for them. They each stressed the importance in knowing that they can be successful regardless of their past.
“It is easy to become discouraged with life. We have to have a goal, we have to have focus and we have to have something to look forward to. Without those things, we can become very discouraged. I think you all know what I am talking about,” Lawrence Circuit Court Judge Nathan Nikirk told the students.
“You must fight against that. You must fall back on the skills and things you learned in this program. Most importantly you learned you can do it,” Judge Nikirk added.
“The idea that you can accomplish something that you set your mind too – that is the beauty of this program.” said Judge Nikirk.
“As you move forward from today, do not become discouraged when plans change, because plans do change. What you have to do when things get difficult is you must fall back on the skills you learned in this program, to move forward if you can do that…you can be successful,” Judge Nikirk added.
“These people are here, because they want you to succeed,” said Deputy Prosecutor Bob Cline as he pointed out into the crowd that was sitting throughout Brinegar Hall. This crowd came to support and see these students earn their hard earned certificates. The graduates will also receive $250 check for completing the course.
This course is the second course that was conducted with total of six completing the first course and ten students completing the second.
The program gives students endless opportunities to earn HSE certification and other educational opportunities to improve their ability to earn more income and become successful in their futures.
Local businesses and colleges are working together to collaborate in allowing many adults who are in the local justice system learn the skill set trades they need to succeed.
The core team of business and individuals who support the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council with this program include:
- Former Mayor of Bedford – Shawna Girgis
- Bedford Mayor – Sam Craig
- Lawrence County Economic Growth Council – Shance Sizemore
- East Gate and Tri-County Builders – Doug Kellams
- Lawrence County and Stone Gate Arts & Education – Eugene McCracken
- Hoosier Uplands – Debbie Beeler
- Peerless Technologies – Jamie Blackwell
- NWSC Crane – Dr. Angie Lewis
- Regional Opportunities Initiatives – Kim Waldridge
- Duke Energy – Bruce Calloway
- North Lawrence Community Schools – Dr. Ty Mungle
- Mitchell Community Schools – Dr. Brent Comer
- Lawrence County Economic Growth Council – Joe Timbrook
- Lawrence County Economic Growth Council – Heather Nash