Schools, businesses partner to bolster workforce

Schools, businesses partner to bolster workforce Main Photo

29 Nov 2023


All over Hancock County are businesses that need employees with skills.

Those skills can be specific to certain kinds of work–like welding, administering care to patients, and operating robots.

The skills can also be more universal, like punctuality, work ethic, and problem-solving.

Also all over Hancock County are schools with thousands of students who will one day need jobs.

How do both sides get what they need? Through a variety of ways local schools and businesses are working together to provide–including work-based learning, college credit offerings, and maintaining close partnerships.

Those strategies and plenty more drove the discussion at the Hancock Economic Development Council Human Resources Group Lunch and Learn on November 28th, thanks to presenters hailing from all four of the county’s public school corporations. The event was held at Flodraulic Group, a multi-dimensional fluid power company with expertise in multiple technologies, markets and geographies.

Education officials shared success stories of high school students earning college credits and even associate degrees. Leaders also discussed substantial grant awards, emphasizing the financial support pouring into partnerships that connect classroom learning with the professional sector.

Speakers underscored the importance of exposing students to different careers as young as kindergarten, and enhancing those experiences as they grow older. They noted that familiarizing students with organizations increases the likelihood of them considering these organizations when choosing their career paths.

Efforts continue among local school, government, business, and nonprofit leaders on the Hancock County Career Center–HC3–a vital component of Amplify Hancock, a workforce education facility planned to open in the county in coming years. While plenty of career and technical education is currently available at Hancock County schools, students have to travel to career centers outside of the county for more experiences, and HC3 aims to fill that gap.

When considering curriculum for HC3, leaders did research into programs students are already attending, surveyed students for professions that interest them, and took into account high-wage and high-demand careers. That prompted suggestions in health sciences; transportation, distribution and logistics; architecture and construction trades; manufacturing; and law and public safety.

A discussion followed the event’s presentations among attendees and presenters on several topics, including the importance of preparing students for careers in a world where careers seem to be constantly changing, and how that can be successful through maintaining close partnerships between schools and the industries they’re developing pipelines with.

HEDC’s HR Group holds a Lunch and Learn every quarter. If you’re not already part of the group, make sure you stay in the loop on future events by signing up here. If you have a topic you’d like to present to the group, reach out to HEDC Communications Director Mitchell Kirk at