Archive for Thursday, March 11, 2010

Leavenworth County youth career program ‘going great’

March 11, 2010

The Leavenworth County Development Corp.’s classroom-to-career program is picking up speed.

In December, the organization debuted the program at Cushing Memorial Hospital with three schools and about 40 students participating. The next event is planned for April and will send students to Heatron in Leavenworth, where they will learn about the heating and lighting industry.

LCDC economic development coordinator Victoria Rowley said the program had been met with positive feedback thus far, as students, schools and companies praised its efforts to boost Leavenworth County’s work force.

“It’s going great,” Rowley said. “We’re educating students about career opportunities in Leavenworth County. The program addresses issues about career requirements, social skills, college preparation. It’s beneficial to so many different parties.”

Each business that participates pays $300 for the students’ transportation and lunch. During the April event, sophomores, juniors and seniors will tour Heatron, talk to people employed there and get some hands-on experience through workshops the company created for the day. After lunch, they can network with local colleges, like the University of St. Mary and Kansas City Kansas Community College, with representatives present at Heatron providing information about programs and application processes.

Rowley said she was excited about the Heatron event because it would allow students to see some of the options they had for finding a career right after high school.

“This event caters to some of the students in the area who might not be college-bound after high school graduation,” she said. “Heatron is a great place to enter the workforce with a high school diploma, and the students will be able to see how they can advance their education while working there. Some of our local colleges have wonderful technical programs.”

Heatron human resources generalist Tanasha Allwood said the company was looking forward to having county high school students visit.

“We are very excited about this opportunity,” Allwood said. “It’s our understanding that the classroom-to-career day is a new initiative for LCDC, and Heatron will be their second company to participate in the program. That in itself is an honor. We are the second largest private manufacturing employer in Leavenworth, and this is a great way to get more involved in the community.”

Interacting with future high school graduates will be advantageous to Heatron, Allwood said, as it will introduce those students to a local company with much to offer.

“We have over 200 associates currently employed here at Heatron, many of which live in the area and have high school-aged children,” she said. “We pride ourselves on having current job openings due to expansion and growth, and what better way to fill those openings than with local area high school students that are interested in what we have to offer? With the trend being that many graduating high school seniors want to stay at home for a year or two after graduation, Heatron can offer employment opportunities for those qualified seniors.”

For more information, or to become involved with the Leavenworth County Development Corporation’s classroom-to-career program, contact Victoria Rowley at (913) 727-6111 ext. 202 or at vrowley@lvcountyed.org.

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