Grant will help train workers for in-demand jobs

The Community Education Coalition was named as a winner of a philanthropic funding contest by national nonprofit Strada Education Network.

It was awarded $997,000 for its largest initiative, Economic Opportunities through Education (EcO) Network, supporting workforce training for adult learners through regional adult education providers, expansion of Ivy Tech Community College Information Technology programs, and college / career success strategies to improve education outcomes connected to well-paying industry sectors, with specific supports for low-income adults and Southeast Indiana’s growing Latino population.

According to recent data from the Strada-Gallup Education Consumer Survey, individuals who view their educational experience as relevant to the world of work are far more likely to complete their education and report that their learning was worth the cost.

Employers also indicate that they prefer to hire people who gain practical work experience as they study.

The Community Education Coalition was selected from hundreds of applicants in the “innovative solutions in education-to-employment” competition
Strada Education Network announced in 2018, which prioritized investment in working adults required to upskill as the labor market shifts and “disconnected youth,” aged 18 to 24 years old, who are neither working nor in school.

The Community Education Coalition will use its grant to accelerate and expand critical education pathways and student success strategies through its regional EcO Network initiative, to improve education outcomes for K12, postsecondary and adult students, with a focus on equity and inclusion in education for underserved populations.

Grant funds will support:
Education & career planning programs through EcO Network career awareness and college readiness initiatives for students and families to promote educational success and a college-going culture, focused on high demand STEM careers, in partnership with regional manufacturing, healthcare and IT employers.

 Latino college and career coaches for middle and high school students providing guidance on career and education pathways, and transition to college, through the CEC’s Latino Education and Outreach program.

 New or expanded Ivy Tech Information Technology education programs at four Ivy Tech Community College sites:
*Ivy Tech Community College Batesville: Information Technology Helpdesk Technical Certificate Pathway for High School Students
*Ivy Tech Community College Lawrenceburg: Software Development Technical Certificate Pathway for High School Students
*Ivy Tech Community College Columbus: Accelerated Associate Degree Cyber Academy at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center (MUTC)
*Ivy Tech Community College Madison: Accelerated Associate Degree Information Technology Pathway
*College student success collaboration with Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC), and Ivy Tech Columbus.  The “Gateway Community of Practice” is a collaboration designed to increase student success in college entry-level (gateway) courses.  The project seeks to increase college retention rates through instructor-driven, student-delivered approaches, and leverages outcomes based professional development models.
*Expanded Support for Workforce Training for Adult Learners.  A partnership of the region’s three adult education providers including Jennings County

Adult Educational Center, McDowell Education Center and River Valley Resources. This grant will allow them to increase the number of adult learners enrolling and completing industry recognized credentials and moving into critical, high-demand industry sectors.

“The generous funding provided by Strada Education Network will ensure that our local high school and adult learners have access to the Information Technology skills needed to ensure successful job placement within our communities, as well as the opportunity to transition into advanced certificate/degree programs should this be their desired educational objective.” Mark Graver, Chancellor Ivy Tech Lawrenceburg/Batesville.


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