Exploring Program Introduces Students to Local Careers
The Black Swamp Area Council Exploring program is a workforce initiative geared towards helping youth in Northwest Ohio discover their future. Throughout the 13-county coverage area, they seek to provide students with immersive hands-on experiences that help them make more informed decisions about their future career path.
The program serves students ages 14-20 who have completed the 8th grade and in-school clubs during grades 6th-8th. The Black Swamp Area Council’s Exploring program is the largest in the state, edging out Cincinnati, Cleveland, Akron, and Columbus. In 2019, the Exploring program grew by 58% in youth membership, recruiting 337 new youth into workforce programs. Exploring also grew from 18 operational programs in 2018 to 29 in 2019. The programming is a win-win.
“If we can connect a student with an interest, and they thrive in the program, we have helped them network and develop relationships. If a student realizes that a career is not the right fit for them, that is an even bigger success in our opinion because we have saved both the student and business time and money,” said Matt Kibler, Exploring Executive.
Exploring is a bridge for corporations to connect with local students, keep talent local, and provide youth with an understanding of their business. The Exploring program is also connected with several universities within Northwest Ohio, collaborating with the University of Findlay to offer an Exploring program for animal science and pre-veterinarian medicine.
For 2020, the Exploring program has already received a commitment from Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers, located in Bryan, Ohio. This new program will allow high school students in Williams, and surrounding counties, the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the medical field. This program will not only provide students with experience but provide them an opportunity to network and keep local medical talent in Williams County.
“Our vision is to shape the workforce of tomorrow by engaging and mentoring today’s youth in career and life-enhancing opportunities. In Northwest Ohio we are doing just that, and we are excited to offer all students the opportunity to Explore their future,” Kibler said.
If you would like more information about Exploring, contact Exploring Executive Matt Kibler at (567) 245-1259 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The January TechCred application period closes today! Employers interested in participating in future rounds can visit TechCred.Ohio.Gov for more information. So far, the program is assisting 234 companies upskill over 1,500 Ohioans to help them qualify for new career opportunities while reducing the state’s workforce shortage.
Employers and Training Providers: Show us how you’re using TechCred by tagging us on Twitter at @OhioOWT!
The application period for Ohio’s Industry Sector Partnership Grant was announced on January 23rd and is open until March 13th. Industry Sector Partnerships are designed to develop workforce strategies with the goal of driving collaboration between local businesses, education and training providers, and community stakeholders. Apply today by visiting Workforce.Ohio.Gov/ISP.