Local organizations in Highland County have formed a new collaborative group called the Highland County Workforce Leadership Council. It is made up of representatives from the following organizations: Highland County Chamber of Commerce, Highland County Community Action, Highland County Economic Development, Highland County public schools, the non-profit Growing Rural Independence Together (GRIT), the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center, Southern State Community College and the village of Greenfield.
The mission of the council is to coordinate and sustain efforts among Highland County schools, businesses and communities to build a stronger workforce by identifying and cultivating the strengths of individuals and aligning them to the needs of existing and emerging industries.
The council has employed former Fairfield Local Schools Superintendent Tim Dettwiller as the director of its new program called ACCESS. The acronym ACCESS stands for the Alignment of Community Connections for Employer and Students Success. The ACCESS program will provide coordination amongst all the council members and the services they provide.
“Our vision is to position Highland County to have a healthy and relevant workforce ecosystem,” Dettwiller said. “My initial focus as the ACCESS director is to work with the businesses and school districts within the county to coordinate and support career readiness programs that feature work based learning opportunities including internships.”
School districts have had many versions of work experience opportunities for some students in the past. What makes this program different is it looks to provide a career readiness curriculum for all students driven by the input from local businesses.
If you are part of a local business that would like to participate in the program either as a host for a student work based learning site, provide an internship opportunity or join the speaker pool, email Dettwiller at email@example.com.
The Highland County Workforce Leadership Council’s mission is to coordinate and sustain efforts among Highland County schools, businesses and communities to build a stronger workforce by identifying and cultivating the strengths of individuals and aligning them to the needs of existing and emerging industries.
Information for this story was provided by Jamie Wheeler, executive director, Highland County Chamber of Commerce.