EWIN names three new Education-Workforce Planning Grant recipients

The Education Workforce Innovation Network (EWIN) has announced three new Education-Workforce Planning Grant recipients for $7,000 each. They include groups led by Ivy Tech South Bend-Elkhart and Navistar, Student Career Partners for Northeast Indiana and River Forest Community Schools (RFCS) in Hobart. With the grant, each partnership will benefit from EWIN technical assistance through 2019 including support of collaboration within their communities, research of promising models, site visits to explore innovative approaches and development of plans customized to each area’s needs and resources.

“We are so excited to work with these dedicated groups that are leveraging community partners to invest in the meaningful development of career pathways systems. Our goal is to facilitate the pathway system planning process so those groups can replicate that process to create additional opportunities for students,” said EWIN Director Erin Foster. “The result will be implementation of innovative, data-driven, industry-led educational models that align with needs of the local economy. We have incredible experiences planned for these teams and can’t wait to get started!”

Ivy Tech South Bend-Elkhart and Navistar will partner with Elkhart Plastics, Inc., Better World Books, the South Bend Community School Corporation Board of Trustees, Elkhart Area Career Center and the South Bend Regional Chamber. The group will collaborate to develop a K-14 Supply Chain Management and Logistics Pathway that educates, trains and develops a sustainable pipeline of supply chain management and logistics employees.

“The Ivy Tech South Bend-Elkhart Campus team is thrilled to be selected as one of this year’s grantees. The grant funds will enable our project to directly align with the college’s strategic plan for developing K-12 partnerships, accelerating educational opportunities for students and incumbent workers while meeting the needs of our communities and employers,” said Amber Ruszkowski, department chair and associate professor for Business Administration and Logistics, South Bend-Elkhart Campus.

The Student Career Partners for Northeast Indiana includes Region 8 Education Service Center, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, Fort Wayne Community Schools, Ivy Tech Northeast, Parkview Health, Junior Achievement and the Olin B. and Desta Schwab Foundation. This partnership will use grant funds to create a career-ready pathway program that motivates and guides students through a process to develop individualized career road maps based on their talents, interests, post-secondary choices, financial resources as well as high-wage, high-demand employment options in the area.

“Our team in Northeast Indiana is pleased to partner with EWIN on this effort. We look forward to leveraging the expertise at CELL (Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning) to build on our regional work to help students across the 11 counties of Northeast Indiana identify and access opportunities for future success,” said Ryan Twiss, vice president of regional initiatives in the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

River Forest Community Schools (RFCS) is spearheading a community partnership made up of 16 regional businesses, postsecondary institutions, organizations and agencies. Their goal is to collaboratively implement a full advanced manufacturing pathway with K-12 aligned curriculum and postsecondary certifications and degrees that lead to high-demand, high-wage employment.

In addition to RFCS, the partnership includes Praxair, Indiana Manufacturers Association, Calumet Area Industrial Commission, Northwest Indiana Forum, The City of Hobart Economic Development, Lake Shore Chamber of Commerce, Center of Workforce Innovations, Vincennes University, Ivy Tech Community College, Purdue University Northwest, Indiana University Northwest, U.S. Army, Neighbors’ Educational Opportunities, Via Marketing, World of Words and Innovations in Learning.

Rachelle Baker, graduation pathway coordinator, River Forest High School, said, “Preparing River Forest students and supporting their career goals are our top priorities. Developing an advanced manufacturing pathway with EWIN and partners is an invaluable resource for increasing student achievement, verifiable skills and future quality of life.”

This is EWIN’s fourth round of planning grants offered to education-workforce partnerships across the state to support development of implementation plans for regional or local sector-based career pathways. Pathways help make students college and career ready, inspire curricular programs grounded in the real world, engage businesses in K-16 learning experiences and provide the local workforce with highly skilled employees.

EWIN is an initiative of the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL), a non-profit at the University of Indianapolis, which unites districts, schools, communities, universities and businesses to build a sense of urgency and form innovative collaborations for statewide educational and economic improvement.

For more information, contact EWIN Director of Education Workforce Innovation Network Erin Foster at 317-791-5991.