A new, statewide effort designed to increased the number of Indiana residents with work skills or college degrees is calling on DeKalb County community organizations to participate.
Through the Learn More Indiana partnership and Learning Link, an education initiative of the DeKalb County Community Foundation, the program aims to increase the number of residents with work skills certifications, military training credentials and two- or four-year degrees.
Members will learn about post-secondary learning opportunities, financial aid and college access mentoring and ultimately have access to job-shadowing opportunities or campus tours, with the goal of advancing their educational opportunities.
The program’s success comes with support and cooperation from local organizations, officials say.
“Post-secondary learning has a significant impact on the quality of life and future earnings for Hoosiers,” said Indiana Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers in a news release. “We recognize that rallying community organizations around the common goal of post-secondary success is critical to meeting the learning needs of our students and our state.”
The county’s Career Success Coalition already has fielded a steering team of county organizations that will work with teams from 17 other Indiana counties to participate in upcoming workshops in Indianapolis.
The steering team from DeKalb County includes: Lauri Carnahan, Lakewood Park Christian School; John Cox, Auburn Lions Club; Glenda Ervins, 21st Century Scholars; Tonya Hoeffel, City of Garrett; Lori Kaiser, Eastside High School; Rod Knox, United Way; Mike Muter, DeKalb Central High School; Maria Norman, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne; Terry Rayle, DeKalb Chamber Partnership; and Judy Sorg, DeKalb County Community Foundation. At the workshop, those members will focus on aspects of coalition development.
Afterward, team members will return to DeKalb County to meet with representatives of local member organizations to establish county goals that can see the county become more successful in learning beyond high school. Those participating local organizations then will enact certain activities that promote such educational advancements.
The program needs supporting local organizations to participate in any amount of support efforts, where leaders can sponsor activities geared to help students and adults access career training programs. Activities can range from placing flyers provided by Learn More Indiana in shopping bags or a Scout troop hosting a speaker from an area vocational school or college, to offering job shadowing or planning a campus tour.
“We’re looking for all sorts of coalition members,” DeKalb County’s Coalition leader Rod Knox said in a news release. “Schools, faith-based organizations, youth service organizations, service clubs, businesses, government agencies, libraries and all other organizations interested in helping our community’s youth and adults get to learning opportunities beyond high school are encouraged to join.”
Local organizations can join the DeKalb County Learning Success Coalition at www.learnmore.org.