Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

January 26, 2013

Few finish vocational education programs in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS —  Indiana has an abundance of vocational education opportunities but a poor record of keeping students in the programs and getting them trained in well-paying jobs that demand more technical know-how.

That was the message delivered Friday by an economic development expert to a group of 150 vocational education and workforce development officials from around the state.

“You have a lot of students who enter these programs…but few of them who ever complete,” said Brian Bosworth, president of FutureWorks, a consulting company that has been studying Indiana’s “skills gap.”

Bosworth spoke at the Indiana Education and Workforce Innovation Summit, sponsored by the University of Indianapolis. Earlier in the day, Gov. Mike Pence told the same audience that Indiana needed to do better job aligning education to the needs of employers if it wanted to reduce the state’s 8.2 percent unemployment rate.

Pence is pushing a plan that would create regional councils around Indiana where businesses and educators would craft curriculum for vocational programs in high schools to better prepare students for local jobs, especially those in manufacturing.

“I think there are going to be opportunities for collaboration and resources far beyond traditional streams,” said Pence.

Pence also repeated his call to return vocational education “to every high school in Indiana.

But Bosworth, in his remarks, said the availability of vocational education isn’t the problem. It’s getting students into vocational programs that provide them with the technical skills needed to land a good-paying job, then keeping them in those programs once they get there.

Among the findings that Bosworth shared with his audience: About 100,000 of Indiana’s 330,000 high school students take a vocational education class every year. But only about 10,000 students graduate with both a high school diploma and a concentration — or six credit hours — in a vocational or technical field.  

And few high school students — 15 percent at most — that do take vocational education courses in manufacturing or pre-engineering go on to pursue post-secondary training in those fields. In Indiana’s two-year colleges, only about 10 percent of students enrolled in a technical program of study complete their degree.

Pence, who’s been in office for less than two weeks, has made vocational education a priority for his administration.

He said the issue came to his attention on the campaign trail, when he heard from manufacturers that they were having a hard time filling positions that require specific job training, rather than a college degree.

The problem is significant: According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, about 7,000 manufacturing jobs went unfilled in December.

Also speaking at the summit was Mark Gerstle, vice president and chief administrative officer at Cummins, Inc., a global manufacturer of engines, which has its headquarters in Columbus, Ind. Gerstle said students are coming out of Indiana’s high schools and colleges ill-prepared to work in industries that require high-tech skills.    

He said 30 percent of Cummins’ employees in Indiana were born and educated in other countries. “We can’t find enough people in our own state to hire…” Gerstle said.  “It shows what a sad state of affairs we’re in.”

Indiana’s new superintendent of public instruction, Glenda Ritz, also spoke at the summit, saying she agreed that schools needed to help students focus on vocational and technical careers, but offered few details on how to do that.

Ritz, a Democrat elected in November, was welcomed by the Republican Pence, who said they shared “common ground” in their interest in vocational education.

Ritz, a teacher by training, said students needed to have opportunities like she did when she took part in a cadet-teaching program while in high school.

“I knew that was what’s for me and headed on my path,” Ritz said. “All kids, all careers need to have that kind of chance to explore at the high school level, to get that relevance to their coursework and to know where they might be headed.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Fresh shrimp business approved GOSHEN — Finding fresh shrimp in Elkhart County just got a little easier.

    August 21, 2014

  • NWS GN140822 john hertzel (2) John Hertzler relishes role with Goshen Historical Society GOSHEN — Visitors to the Goshen Historical Society’s museum might not know John Hertzler is there, tucked back in an office beyond the rows of historic documents, photographs and artifacts.

    August 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lifelong Learning fall courses announced GOSHEN — The Lifelong Learning Institute of Elkhart County is offering fall courses. These short courses are designed to provide stimulating and affordable classes in many fields for active seniors. There are no tests or grades, and no previous studies or degrees are required.

    August 21, 2014

  • South Ninth Street area under boil water order South Ninth Street, between East Jackson and Franklin streets in Goshen, is under a boil water order from noon until further notice.

    August 21, 2014

  • GN140821 Pike Street Project 2 INDOT meeting held to discuss Pike Street project GOSHEN — Major changes may be on the way for a small section of Pike Street in downtown Goshen.

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0821 goshen college challenge Locals embrace ice bucket challenge It’s a challenge that has united participants with the shared sensation of an icy burst of water, sopping wet clothing and video evidence — all in the name of philanthropy.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140821 nisly complaint Complaint filed against state rep candidate Accusations of wrongdoing, in the form of a complaint to the Indiana Election Commission, have been levied against District 22 representative Republican nominee Curt Nisly.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140820 dometic groundbreaking Dometic breaks ground on significant expansion in Goshen GOSHEN — As Dometic officials gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony for the $7 million expansion of their Goshen distribution center Wednesday, the work was already underway in the background. “It’s happening right now,” said Dave Schutz, vice presi

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140821 Ignition art Plenty of good music on horizon at Ignition Several upcoming shows at Ignition Garage in Goshen were announced this week.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • City plan nearing a final draft GOSHEN — The city’s new comprehensive plan is nearing completion, and a near-final draft has now been released for public review. Goshen Plan Commission members released the draft of the city’s newly penned comprehensive plan, titled “Uncommonly Grea

    August 19, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results
AP Video
Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Raw: Egypt Bus Crash Kills at Least 33 Two Bodies Found in Adjacent Yards Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Rescue Efforts Suspended at Japan Landslide Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Raw: Smaller Marches in Ferguson Marathon Suspect's Friend Pleads Guilty Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer Ky. Firefighters Hurt in Ice Bucket Challenge Federal Investigation Will Look at Use of Force Community Deals With Michael Brown Aftermath US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Ferguson Teachers Training to Deal With Trauma Jon Hamm on the Unrest in Ferguson Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit