New County Education & Industry Liaison – City of Shelbyville, the Blue River Career Programs & Duke Energy Partnership

In an effort to promote job readiness in the ranks of Shelbyville and Shelby County high school graduates, the City of Shelbyville, the Blue River Career Programs and Duke Energy have entered into a partnership that will fund a pilot program unlike any other in the area.

When engaging existing industrial leaders as well as discussing potential development with new investors one of the primary concerns expressed by them is the quality of the workforce both present and future.

After discussing those concerns with our partners in education such as the Blue River Career Center, Shelby County Lifelong Learning, area High Schools, Ivy Tech, Rose-Hulman and many others, two determinations were made:

  1. That we are doing a good job of addressing that segment of our student population that is going on to higher educational opportunities. We have supplemented those opportunities with the City/County partnership with Rose-Hulman and our increasing involvement with Ivy Tech, which has one of the fastest growing bases in central Indiana.
  2. After reviewing our higher education attainment levels as provided by the State, only 26.59% of our students go on to a post secondary educational opportunity. That means over 73% of our graduates are heading into the workforce in some capacity once they finish high school.

We have considered the higher education attainment rates of our students and we have heard the concerns of our industrial partners about workforce ready graduates.  We share these concerns and have a desire to grow our community by creating new jobs, retaining our existing jobs and providing opportunities for our graduates to live and work in our community.  In response to the realities of our present situation we have chosen to address the relationship between the Blue River Career Center and the needs of our local industry in a very specific and custom way.

Now with this customized program it is believed that we can serve the needs of local industry more precisely and strategically that will be unique to the needs of Shelbyville and Shelby County.

As Mayor I am grateful to have Duke Energy and the Blue River Career Center as strong partners for this pilot effort. Their experience and guidance will prove to be integral to the success and growth of this opportunity.

What are your thoughts?