Ripley County, Indiana – Genesis: Pathways to Success (GPS), the STEM initiative of Ripley County Community Foundation, in partnership with Batesville, Jac-Cen-Del, Milan and South Ripley School Corporations, and 18 local businesses will partner in the implementation of the Governor’s Work Ethic Certificate (WEC) in the 2017-2018 academic year.
In December 2016, the consortium of Ripley County schools was selected as one of 18 sites in the state of Indiana to pilot the WEC, which is part of an ongoing effort to encourage collaboration among employers and local school districts and career centers. Employer partners have assisted in the development of the program in order to provide high school students with an understanding of the employability skills in demand by local employers.
“For many years, we’ve heard from employers that there is a lack of ‘soft skills’ in the workforce. The Governor’s WEC provides a model that will help young people understand the value and benefit of not only a strong work ethic, but also a level of professionalism that is expected by employers,” said Cheryll Obendorf, director of GPS.
In Ripley County, the employer partners are offering a variety of incentives to students who earn the WEC. These range from guaranteed job interviews, applicant pool preference, and even scholarship applicant preferences, depending on the employer.
“We have developed strong collaborative relationships among the four public school districts in Ripley County and look forward to partnering with our business community to develop the parameters for the Work Ethic Certificates that can be earned by our graduates,” said South Ripley Superintendent Rob Moorhead. “This will help to strengthen the College and Career readiness activities that are already under way in each school district.”
High school seniors who successfully complete the program will receive a Governor’s WEC, signed by the Governor of Indiana and the Indiana DWD Commissioners.
“We are excited to be one of the first communities in the state to offer the Work Ethic Certification program to the students in our area,” Batesville Mayor Mike Bettice commented. “We know that developing the soft skills needed to enter the workforce is critical but often overlooked. Students will have the opportunity to develop organizational skills and learn how to be a team player while understanding the importance of being punctual and respectful of others. I want to personally thank Cheryll and the GPS Action Team for their hard work in making sure students in our area are provided with the tools necessary to address the professional and technical challenges they may face when starting a career.”
“Hoosier employers routinely cite employability skills as the most challenging characteristics to find in applicants and new hires,” said Steven J. Braun, DWD Commissioner. “The Governor’s Work Ethic Certificate program is designed to provide Hoosier employers with a pipeline of workers with a proven work ethic and assist Indiana communities in closing the skills gap.”
Genesis: Pathways to Success (GPS) is an initiative of the Ripley County Community Foundation dedicated to empowering students to succeed in STEM by developing programs in areas such as engineering, agriculture, health science and technology as well as by supporting events that encourage students to apply curious minds and critical thinking skills to real-world opportunities. GPS generates ongoing and meaningful dialogue and collaboration to prepare a talent pipeline for a globally dynamic marketplace. For additional information, please visit www.genesisp2s.org.