The Clinton County Workforce Collaborative hosted its first meeting of the year on Thursday, January 19. With almost 40 individuals present, representing schools, businesses, service providers, and community organizations, members reviewed accomplishments from 2022, established a new meeting structure for 2023, and discussed how their current efforts can continue to meet the needs of the local community.
One of the highlights of the meeting was the announcement of Wednesday, October 11, as the date for the 2023 Clinton County Career Exploration Fair. “We are incredibly grateful for the enthusiastic response from community employers and schools, the dedication of the members of the School & Community Connections Working Group, and the generosity of the staff and administration at the Laurel Oaks Career Campus, all of which made the 2022 Career Exploration Fair such a success,” said Curt Bradshaw, Assistant Superintendent of the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center. Businesses, schools, and organizations wishing to participate in the 2023 event should watch for registration information this summer. “There will be some changes to the schedule, but you can expect the same hands-on, interactive, exploratory, high-energy event this October as you saw last year,” Bradshaw added.
“We also wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone - businesses and schools - who have supported our efforts to help local students explore career opportunities here in Clinton County through a student immersion tour,” said Ruth Brindle, Workforce & Data Specialist with the Clinton County Port Authority. Since Spring 2022, 112 middle and high school students have participated in tours, learning about career paths in advanced manufacturing, aviation, and healthcare. “By the end of this school year, we will have added at least 80 more students and two more industries to that list,” noted Brindle. Businesses or educators who would like to know more about tour opportunities are encouraged to contact Brindle directly.
Meeting attendees were also reminded of the School & Community Connections Resource Guide, an online document that makes it easier for employers, local schools, and community agencies to identify and expand workforce development opportunities for youth and adults in Clinton County. The Resource Guide helps employers build their talent pipeline by connecting them with schools to explore teaching partnerships, job shadowing, internships, apprenticeships, and guest speaking opportunities. Additionally, the Resource Guide assists educators by linking their students to local employers for real-world experience.
Moving forward, regularly scheduled meetings of the full Workforce Collaborative will be held at 9 a.m. on the 2nd Wednesday of the month (February 8, March 8, April 12, May 10, June 14, and July 12) at the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center (3321 Airborne Road, Wilmington). Each meeting will run no more than 90 minutes, opening with 15 minutes of large group conversation, 60 minutes of Working Group/project conversation, and 15 minutes of sharing out and looking ahead.
“We have always wanted the Workforce Collaborative to be an active and engaged group of individuals,” said Dessie Rogers, Executive Director of the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce. “Our hope is that this meeting format will make it easier for everyone to participate by getting dates on their calendars now, will increase Working Group involvement by reducing the number of meetings, and will encourage individuals to contribute to multiple projects as their interests and availability allow,” Rogers explained.
The next meeting of the Workforce Collaborative is scheduled for Wednesday, February 8, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Meetings are open to all, and are held at the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center (3321 Airborne Road, Wilmington).