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Aspire projects strengthen school-to-work pipeline

Aspire projects strengthen school-to-work pipeline

Don’t worry, this is not a disciplinary note from school. This is a note to the parents of Johnson County about our new and ongoing projects at Aspire that are strengthening the school-to-work pipeline. We are providing a wealth of resources to help parents and students navigate the many career options they are faced with.

As our economic development work embraces advanced industries and new technologies, our school-to-work initiatives are uniquely equipped to provide work-based learning opportunities to students with a particular interest in fields such as IT, 3D printing, avionics, and more.

“There are avionics lessons available through local companies at the Indy South Greenwood Airport and we have many companies utilizing 3D printing on-site such as Milwaukee Tool and Innovative 3-D Manufacturing,” said Jennifer Hollingshead, school-to-work specialist at Aspire.

“We coordinated a field trip for all Johnson County high schools to the Cyber Academy at Muscatatuck for students that were interested in learning more about how they can pursue IT careers as well as a teacher field trip to three different companies to see a variety of IT career paths. If there is a student interested in a specific career path, I can connect them to companies in Johnson County for an informational interview, job shadow, mentorship, and more.”

Hollingshead is working on creating videos showcasing different careers in the community and will be sharing them with teachers in the next few weeks. Parents and students can follow us on LinkedInInstagramFacebook or visit our website.

Upcoming opportunities are also shared directly to all Johnson County schools. Hollingshead advises that students and parents should watch for information for our events and programs from their counselors, teachers, and school administrations.

Aspire staff can connect students to Johnson County companies for interviews, job shadowing, mentorship, and more. (Image courtesy of Aspire Economic + Chamber Alliance)

“Our school-to-work efforts are specifically to connect your students to careers within Johnson County,” said Amanda Rubadue, vice president of Economic Development at Aspire. “If you see something pop up on our social media, such as a tour or internship opportunity, reach out to us or your student’s teacher or guidance counselor and get your students connected.”

We prioritize making connections in fields with higher wages, and that are seeing growth in Indiana as well as their industry. However, any field that a student would like to learn about can be explored. If any student needs help with career exploration, they can reach out to Jennifer Hollingshead at jhollingshead@aspirejohnsoncounty.com or (317) 888-4856 ext. 113 to speak to employers and learn about a variety of career paths.

We hosted an informational event at the Indiana-Kentucky-Ohio Regional Carpenter’s Council called “Discover Your Career Pathway,” for students and their guardians to learn more about trade careers and apprenticeships.

“After hearing from the keynote speakers, one high school student told me that the presentation changed his mind and he decided that he was going to pursue the construction industry,” said Hollingshead.

“At Greenwood High School, after hearing a business leader speak during a PowerHour Professionals program, a student decided to change their future major to informatics which was the career path highlighted by the speaker,” she added.

We see our school-to-work projects and partnerships as much more than a workforce development program. We intend to clear a path for the next generation of talent to join the professional world.

“By offering career exploration and work-based learning activities, we can broaden students’ ideas of career paths beyond just the few jobs they may be aware of,” said Hollingshead. “But by giving kids hands-on learning experiences, you enable them to develop confidence to select their future path whether it’s employment, enrollment, or enlistment.”

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