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Boot camp allows educators to explore work environments in advanced manufacturing, life sciences and defense industries

Externship program gives teachers opportunity to learn about careers in Southwest Central Indiana’s key industry sectors.

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Teachers observe production at Cook Polymer Technology in Bloomington, IN.

Fifty-four educators from eight Southwest Central Indiana counties participated in a week-long Educator Boot Camp in June. Educators experienced work environments on site at regional industry employers in the advanced manufacturing, life sciences and national security and defense sectors. Participating educators each spent time in up to three host companies learning about the skills and education needed to thrive at different employment levels.

Continue reading Boot camp allows educators to explore work environments in advanced manufacturing, life sciences and defense industries

Six Southwest Central Indiana school districts and communities selected for first cohort of ROI Ready Schools Initiative

Initiative aims to align school districts to the education and workforce needs of Southwest Central Indiana

Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) is pleased to announce that six Southwest Central Indiana school districts will comprise the inaugural cohort of the Ready Schools Initiative. The selected districts include Brown County Schools, Loogootee Community Schools, and a collaboration of the four school districts in Dubois County: Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools, Northwest Dubois County School Corporation, Southwest Dubois County School Corporation and Southeast Dubois County School Corporation.

The Ready School Initiative will provide up to $150,000 in funding to each grantee to support a year-long development process. Grantees will engage district, community, and industry stakeholders to better align educational programming with the workforce opportunities across the Southwest Central Indiana region. Continue reading Six Southwest Central Indiana school districts and communities selected for first cohort of ROI Ready Schools Initiative

Fifteen school teachers selected for regional STEM Fellows program

Fifteen Southwest Central Indiana K-6 school teachers have been selected to advance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities in regional elementary schools.

The selected Fellows will focus on increasing STEM curricular relevance, supporting peer educators through mentorships, serving as instructional leaders in schools, and bringing teachers and employers together.

STEM Fellows will participate in professional development activities focused on experiential learning, engineering design process, project-based learning, coding and other relevant topics. Fellows will provide support to colleagues to grow the regional network of skilled STEM educators throughout Southwest Central Indiana. Continue reading Fifteen school teachers selected for regional STEM Fellows program

Dartlet and Fourth Economy selected to develop Southwest Central Indiana competitive identity strategy

Dartlet and Fourth Economy have been selected to develop a competitive identity strategy for Southwest Central Indiana. The two organizations will work collaboratively with stakeholders to develop a strong, unifying regional identity and position Southwest Central Indiana as a desirable place for businesses and individuals to work, live, play and invest.

“Southwest Central Indiana is a region with a compelling story to tell, and it’s imperative that we begin to share that story,” said ROI CEO Tina Peterson. “For organizations across Southwest Central Indiana to work collaboratively in attracting and retaining workforce, business and investment, we need for the rest of world to know about the exceptional assets and opportunities in our 11-county region.”  Continue reading Dartlet and Fourth Economy selected to develop Southwest Central Indiana competitive identity strategy

June 29, 2017: Results of I69 Interchange Analyses – Southwest Central Indiana

Understanding the Potential of I69 Interchanges in SWCI

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Learn about the potential that I69 interchange development might offer our region. HWC Engineering will share findings of their I69 interchange analyses informed both by stakeholder feedback and an in-depth review of the interchanges in Daviess, Greene and Monroe counties. This presentation will include a panel discussion with developers who will offer their insights on how our region might be best take advantage of the opportunity to create a system of interchanges that will improve our capacity to achieve our economic and community prosperity goals in Southwest Central Indiana.

When: Thursday, June 29, 2017, 9:00-11:00 a.m.
Where: WestGate Academy Conferencing and Training Center, 13598 East WestGate Drive, Odon, IN 47562
Register: http://bit.ly/2s0lj9L

Have questions? Contact April Wason at april@cfbmc.org or call (812) 287.8116.

Regional Opportunity Initiatives Newsletter, May 2017

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Advancing economic and community prosperity in an 11-county region that encompasses Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen and Washington counties.

ROI Introduces New Initiatives at Annual Report to the Region

ROI introduced a series of education, workforce and quality of life initiatives at its first Annual Report to the Region held on April 26 in French Lick, IN.

“The initiatives we have launched to date and others launching later this year address significant economic, workforce and community needs we face in our region today, while also preparing future generations to meet the needs of tomorrow,” said Interim CEO Tina Peterson. “Backed by data and an incredibly collaborative approach among partners in our region, we think this series of initiatives is just a first step towards greater alignment among our schools, our sector employers, and our communities.”

ROIs initiatives announced at the annual meeting include a Ready Schools Initiative, STEM Fellows, Out-of-School STEM Learning Grants, a cybersecurity challenge, an Educator Boot Camp with local employers, the Skill UP! Work and Learn Internship program for technology students, a Speakers Bureau, a competitive positioning and branding effort, and quality of place grantmaking. In addition, regional convenings will take place this summer around career pathways and adult education. Ongoing initiatives include the I69 interchange analysis and Graduation and Career Coaching in 11 Southwest Central Indiana high schools. Read more.

Continue reading Regional Opportunity Initiatives Newsletter, May 2017

Graduation and career coaches go behind the scenes at Jasper Engines

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Joined by educators, school counselors, and administrators, ROI’s graduation and career coaches got a unique opportunity to tour Jasper Engines and Transmissions on May 17. The behind-the-scenes tour allowed educators from Southwest Central Indiana to see operations first-hand. Graduation and career coaches will use the experience to inform students of employment opportunities and assist in developing industry-aligned postsecondary plans.

Participants learned about Jasper Engines student and education outreach programs such as job shadowing, internships, and a work ethics certificate for high school students. The company also offers internships at the college level. Teachers in the region can be involved in their Manufacturing Bootcamp and have a Jasper Engines representative speak in classes. Tours are given to both student groups and educators.

Jasper Engines is 100% associate-owned and has a variety of available job types, including manufacturing/production, sales, logistics/drivers, customer services and human resources.

A partnership with Ivy Tech Community College, the ROI graduation and career coaching pilot initiative began at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year and is in operation eleven school districts in Southwest Central Indiana. Continue reading Graduation and career coaches go behind the scenes at Jasper Engines

ROI Introduces Regional Council and New Initiatives at Its First Annual Report to the Region

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Regional Opportunity Initiatives, Inc., introduced a new Regional Council, and a series of education, workforce and quality of life initiatives at its first Annual Report to the Region held on April 26 in French Lick, IN.

The event was an opportunity to present key insights from the Occupational Needs Assessment (ONA) conducted by ROI in Southwest Central Indiana’s three key industry sectors: advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and national security and defense. The needs assessment is critical to ROI’s ability to develop targeted strategies to align education and workforce to respond to needs and opportunities in Southwest Central Indiana’s 11-county region.

The Occupational Needs Assessment is the result of a 6-month examination of data collected from two sources: a quantitative analysis of workforce and industry data and a qualitative analysis of information obtained from interviews with 60 employers in Southwest Central Indiana (SWCI).  “We emerged from this effort with a much better understanding of the realities of the workforce in our region,” said Interim CEO Tina Peterson. “The Occupational Needs Assessment was essential to the development of a series of new ROI initiatives and we will continue to use it to ensure that the work we do moving forward is relevant to our region and cultivates the skilled workforce needed SWCI to flourish. It is our hope that the ONA will also be used by many others in the region to tailor initiatives to specifically meet the needs of students, families, educators and employers who call SWCI home.”

Continue reading ROI Introduces Regional Council and New Initiatives at Its First Annual Report to the Region

Graduation and Career Coaches Open Possibilities for SWCI High School Students

A partnership with Ivy Tech Community College, the ROI graduation and career coaching pilot initiative began at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year in 11 high schools in Southwest Central Indiana. Coaches work closely with at-risk students to create individualized high school completion plans, ensure students attend school and fulfill academic requirements, and introduce them to pathways into technical certifications, associate degrees, and other postsecondary degree programs.

As the academic year comes to a close, we’d like to share with you the incredible work these the coaches are doing and the tremendous difference they are making to hundreds of students in Southwestern Central Indiana.