OTTUMWA-Approximately 61 educators from Southeast Iowa, ranging from elementary, middle, and high school teachers to counselors and school administrators, completed a four-day workshop this summer. The professional development opportunity was designed to give them a better understanding of the future content of technology and the needs of a changing workforce.
Indian Hills Community College and Opportunity2, a regional economic development organization consisting of Appanoose, Davis, Jefferson, Keokuk, Mahaska, Marion, Monroe, and Wapello counties combined efforts to sponsor the professional development workshop, which included tours and presentations at area businesses and industries, highlighting a variety of occupations including advanced manufacturing careers. C & C Manufacturing, Dr. Pepper/Snapple, Hawthorne Direct, Bovard Studios, Musco Lighting, Frisian Farm Cheese, Cargill, Relco Locomotives, Inc., M3 Fabrication, Iowa Shrimp Farm, RMA Armament, and Mercy Medical Center were some of the businesses visited. The groups also learned about collaborations with Ottumwa IowaWORKS to enhance 21st century skills and community assistance, and they toured the Iowa Bioprocessing Training Center and the Regional Entrepreneurship Center operated by Indian Hills.
The attendees were exposed to a variety of different employment opportunities in the area and were made aware of the critical need to infuse soft skills such as having a proper attitude, showing up at work on time and possessing a solid work ethic, in addition to course content for students.
Great connections were made between business and industry and the participants, and it was a successful endeavor bridging the gap between the classroom and the workplace.