Board talks future careers of students

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

IowaWORKS representatives present at school meeting

By NEAL QUERIO
Courier staff writer

OTTUMWA: In Ottumwa, students have access to different programs available to get them out in the workforce sooner.

During Monday night's meeting, board members heard presentations from three groups about suggestions for partnerships and expansions of programs for the 2016-2017 school year.

Representatives from the IowaWORKS Southern Iowa talked about the services the company offers and if they would be interested in a partnership. They currently work with Cardinal, Pekin and Albia students educating them about what employers are looking for and what kind of careers they can pursue in the area. The board asked many questions about! the services and skills students would take away from the partnership and Interim Superintendent Tom Rubel said it would definitely be something to look into if the new administration agreed.

Ottumwa High School Dean of Students Wendy Maas talked with the board about the dual credit opportunities students can access through Indian Hills Community College. Maas talked about the growing interest in the dual credit program and how it helps accelerate students into the workforce.

The courses are free for the students to be a part of and most of them graduate from high school with at least one year of college credit completed. Currently the IHCC offers dual credit opportunities in six courses. Additionally, there are plans to introduce additional courses in landscaping and robotics.

Sticking with theme of getting s! tudents into the workforce sooner, Job Corps employees Mark D! ouglas and Megan Yeager also spoke about the programs offered at their facilities. Douglas said many of the students come from various walks of life with some dealing with disabilities and homelessness.

"We basically take care of all of a person's needs like housing, allowances, etc., so these students are able to focus on their studies," said Douglas.

Even though they are focused on job training there is a strong academic component to the program. Douglas explained the facility is part of the Ottumwa Community School District and they have seemed a number of their students graduate from OHS with diplomas. He invited the board to come out and visit the facility when they have the opportunity to see the work they are doing.

In other news the board: Approved the non-bargaining positions and administrato! rs compensation packages for 2016-2017 not to exceed a total package increase of 3.5 percent. Approved the personnel report for May.

To contact reporter Neal Querio email her at nquerio@ottumwaocourier.com and follow her on Twitter @CourierNeal.

"We basically take care of all of a person's needs like housing, allowances, etc., so these students are able to focus on their studies."

MARK DOUGLAS, JOB CORPS EMPLOYEE

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Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation 217 East Main Street Ottumwa, Iowa  52501
Phone 641-682-3465 Fax 641-682-3466 info@ottumwaiowa.com