Ripley County, Indiana – More than 350 students from Jac-Cen-Del, Milan and South Ripley high schools attended the annual Exploring Pathways to Success event at Milan High School on Friday, November 3. This annual event is coordinated by Genesis: Pathways to Success (GPS) and a Ripley County high school. This year’s host was Milan High School, led by counselor Tina Mutz.

“Milan was pleased to host the Exploring Pathways to Success Career Fair for our Ripley County students,” said Jane Rogers, Milan School Corporation superintendent. “We thank Genesis and Cheryll Obendorf for coordinating the event that gave sophomores an opportunity to see a large variety of local choices they have as they begin to choose a career field that interests them.”

Exploring Pathways to Success is designed to help students explore careers and the ways in which they can achieve career success through education, technical training after high school or both.

“Helping students understand that it’s entirely possible for them to have a bright future in a rewarding career right here in our region is important,” said Cheryll Obendorf, GPS Director. “Encouraging them and patiently allowing them to explore those possibilities is probably the most impactful part of workforce development in rural communities.”

Exploring Pathways to Success featured many hands-on, interactive activities designed to engage students and to spark conversations with students about life after high school. Students learned about skills required for employment in a variety of careers and how to pursue skills training while in high school and beyond.

“It was great to see all of the students that were interested in discussing their career plans,” said Michael Hood from Hill-Rom. “It’s clear that there is a great deal of talent that will be entering the workforce in the next few years. Opportunities like the career fair are a great way to start building bridges with potential employees.”

Business and education partners attending the event included Batesville (Casket), Hill-Rom, Wood-Mizer, Honda Manufacturing, Batesville Tool & Die, Ohio Rod/Best Metal, Clearpoint Federal, Crum Trucking, Indiana Drive Train, Lischkge Motors, Transmark Logistics, German American Bank, Laughery Valley Veterinary Hospital, Dearborn County Hospital, Indiana State Police, Ripley County Court Services, People Ready, McDonald’s, Vincennes University, Ivy Tech Community College, Hanover College, IUPUC, U.S. Army, U.S. Army National Guard, and representatives from Southeastern Career Center’s Diesel Technology, Health Careers, Construction Trades, and IT/Computer courses.

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.