Educators in the Workplace (EITW) has a simple goal--provide exposure of industrial and manufacturing jobs to teachers, counselors, and administrators in SE Iowa school systems so that they have a much better idea of what kinds of work are available to their students. Even if those students doing have college plans, there are lots of options for high-paying, long-term careers in the manufacturing or industrial sectors.
Eighty two educators, including eight from Ottumwa, participated this year, a 37% increase over last year. Ottumwa educators included: Shelley Bramschreiber, Norm Diers, Don Hansen, Stephanie Haupert, Mary Orman, Sherri Small, Kathy Mobley, and Wendy Maas.
Educators were able to tour The Ottumwa Courier and John Deere in Ottumwa, Ajinomoto and the Iowa Bio-Processing Center in Eddyville, Clow Valve, Interpower Corp. and Tassel Ridge Winery in Oskaloosa, Agri-Industrial Plastics, Dexter, Fairfield CoLab, Global ID, and Heartland Grain in Fairfield, plus a full day at Iowa Works and the IHCC north campus including the Regional Entrepreneurship Center, and IowaWorks.
"Our workforce and workplace is changing, and while its ever more technology driven, the basics of safety, quality, teamwork, punctuality and work ethic are still very much in demand," says Sharon Stroh, Executive Director of Ottumwa Economic Development.
"We want to show educators what is right in their own backyards; many seniors graduate and want to stay here, near their families. There are good jobs with family sustaining wages to be had in our area," says Karen Swanson, Director of High School Programs at IHCC.
A grant from Iowa Economic Development Authority initially funded the project, with matching funding provided by Opportunity Squared, OEDC, Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundatino, John Deere Ottumwa Works, Mid-American Energy, Northeast Missouri Power, Alliant Energy, Clow Valve, Lee Container, QPS Employment Group, Marion County Development Commission, Albia Industrial Development, Cablevey Conveyors, Fairfield Manufacturing Assoc., and Iowa Wood Preservers.
Opportunity Squared is a regional economic development partnership comprised of Albia Development Corp., Alliant Energy, Area 15 Regional Planning, Appanoose County Economic Development, Davis County EDC, Fairfield Economic Development Assoc., Indian Hills Community College, Mahaska County Ag and Rural Development, Marion County Development Consortium, Mid-American Energy, Northeast Missouri Electric, Ottumwa EDC, and Sigourney Area EDC.