BEDFORD – After three weeks of technical and employability skills training, seven Lawrence County residents became the fifth graduating class of the Lawrence County Introduction to Local Jobs and Skills program.
The results from the fifth cohort exceeded expectations with every participant earning their CPR, Stop the Bleed, Health Science Instruction, and 16-Hour Automotive Technician Training certificates. Each participant now has a clear path to their “next step,” whether it involves completing their High School Equivalency (at no cost), Next Level Jobs training (at no cost), a job/career, or a combination of these.
Through this process coordinated by the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council’s (LCEGC) Workforce Coalition, students were able to decide on paths of Health Science or Auto Servicing. A portion will be continuing their education with the Lawrence County Adult Education program to obtain their High School Equivalency Diplomas (HSE). A few intend to enroll in Indiana’s NextLevelJobs program as they’ve shown interest in advancing on to health science/automotive servicing/welding careers.
In addition to these life-long education opportunities, these students are leaving the training with one or more interviews among local employers seeking candidates with these qualifications.
“It was a privilege working with each of the participants and seeing them take on new challenges and learn new information each class session. It is exciting to see participants follow their next steps as a result of these new opportunities,” says LCEGC Program Manager, Connor Williams.
Tony Ledford, a traveling preacher whose goal is to serve and find ways to “pitch-in” to lend a helping hand wherever he goes said, “This program was very valuable and it can be a second chance for many students. In this day and age, the soft skills that we learned in class like CPR are being lost. Willingness to help is how we are going to become a community. The Lawrence County Workforce Coalition set the example that now we as students can follow.”
Partnerships with local justice-involved entities initially provided a pool of students seeking to “skill-up” and explore potential careers. “This program is a culmination of discussions with employers and community stakeholders throughout the past three years,” says LCEGC Director of Career Development, Joe Timbrook. “We know there is a large population of residents in Lawrence County that, with some training, could fill the current increasingly high employment openings we see with our local and high-demand jobs.”
“We’d like to thank our sponsor, Lawrence County Community Foundation; our partners, North Lawrence Career Center and Stone Gate Arts & Education Center; with special thanks to our instructors, Arienne Evans and Brad Grow, for supporting this effort,” says Timbrook. “This program is life-changing and it’s been humbling to witness; however, none of it would have been possible without this community of invested stakeholders coming together to make it happen.”
As a result of the success, The Lawrence County Workforce Coalition is currently accepting students for the next cohort The ideal student is a Lawrence County resident not yet earning a living wage. If you are interested in participating in the program, or an employer interested in conducting interviews and/or getting involved, please contact Connor Williams at 812-275-4493 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council:
The Lawrence County Economic Growth Council is a non-profit, local economic development organization (LEDO) existing to support the growth of Lawrence County businesses including startup support, workforce solutions, and technical assistance which promotes investment that improves the quality of life for our citizens. Learn more at www.lawrencecountygrowth.com.