Postsecondary Pathways event at Lerner brings youth workers, businesses together

November 11, 2015

Finding a career is kind of like ordering from a restaurant.

Going into the workforce without knowing all the options would be like ordering a sandwich without a menu, forcing you to eat something you may not even enjoy but think it’s the only option available to you, said Bill Nonte, who serves as the chief of staff and chief financial officer for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

“We need to help students find out what is really available,” he said Monday afternoon before delivering the keynote speech to a ballroom of about 130 educators and business leaders in the Lerner’s Crystal Ballroom.

Nonte spoke about how professionals in the education and business sectors can better work together to create pathways for students into high-paying and high-demand jobs.

It was part of a full-day event called “Postsecondary Pathways: Connecting Educators to Careers in North Central Indiana,” which was a collaboration between Horizon Education Alliance, the Department of Workforce Development, Indiana Works Council Region 2, the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL), the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Indiana Youth Institute.

School counselors and other youth workers started the day by visiting one of nine businesses in Elkhart and Goshen to learn about their facilities and the different pathways to careers within them:

When workshop attendees returned from the business tours, they participated in group networking and panel discussions at The Lerner .

Jim Dubois, superintendent of Baugo Community Schools, attended the workshop and said the conversations happening Monday will be immensely helpful to students.

“We are asking how we can structure what we’re doing for the changes and realities of what is happening in the economy,” he said.