Developing the Workforce of Tomorrow: Clinton County Workforce Collaborative Student Immersion Tours
20 Sep 2023
Every September, communities around the country recognize workforce development professionals and the important contributions they make toward growing the national economy as part of Workforce Development Month. Workforce development professionals and organizations provide an important link between businesses looking to hire and opportunities for job seekers to access education, training, and support resources.
The Clinton County Port Authority takes great pride in connecting our local talent with resources to find available jobs, access higher education and training programs, and explore new opportunities. We’ve helped to develop the Clinton County Workforce Collaborative, which brings local employers, educational institutions, government agencies, and service providers together to address workforce needs and solutions throughout the community.
The Collaborative offers opportunities for businesses around the community to get involved and expand, elevate, and educate the local workforce. Uniquely, the Collaborative facilitates programs to connect employers and schools to bridge workforce development gaps by attracting and retaining students before and after graduation.
Student Immersion Tours are a Unique Way to Build the Clinton County Workforce
The School & Community Connections Working Group of the Collaborative launched its Student Immersion Tours in January 2022. These tours allow middle and high school students to interact with local businesses in high-growth industries, like agriculture, advanced manufacturing, aviation, and health care. Employers directly address students about specific career paths and opportunities.
These businesses have hosted over 350 students from three high schools, five middle schools, and one Head Start program, resulting in multiple direct hires, job shadowing positions, and enrollment in related post-secondary education programs.
Past Student Immersion Tours have included:
- Air Transport Services Group highlighted the direct-to-hire opportunities at Airborne Maintenance & Engineering Services for the Aviation Maintenance program at Laurel Oaks Career Campus. The testimony below illustrates the program’s significance.
- Josh joined the Laurel Oaks Aviation Program at 15. As a junior, he focused on studying the airframe section of airplanes, and as a senior, he gained extensive hands-on experience in airplane construction through labs. By the end of his senior year, Josh will secure general and airframe certifications, and plans to pursue a power plant certification during college. He intends to continue with the program to earn an associate's degree, which will enable him to work on various aircraft components.
- Clinton Memorial Hospital shared the opportunities for tuition reimbursement for employees wishing to pursue a degree in the healthcare field. They also discussed opportunities for on-the-job training and credentialing for those wishing to progress their careers.
- BrightFarms, a hydroponic greenhouse that serves Ohio, Northern Kentucky, and Western Pennsylvania, offers work opportunities for high school and college students, and offers flexibility for part-time work during the school year and more hours during summers.
The Student Immersion Tours have been so successful that new schools have planned tours and four new businesses have expressed interest in hosting tours. Additionally, one business launched its own camp program over the summer. Hosting businesses have the opportunity to create job shadowing opportunities, internships and apprenticeships, and teacher partnerships.
As the Student Immersion Tour program continues to grow, the opportunities for workforce development continue to grow. Interested in joining the list of businesses and educational institutions helping to advance the workforce of Clinton County? For more information about hosting a Student Immersion Tour or booking a Tour for your school, contact Ruth Brindle, Workforce & Data Specialist with the Clinton County Port Authority, and Steering Committee Member with the Clinton County Workforce Collaborative.
For more information about how you can get involved with the Clinton County Workforce Collaborative, visit its website.