READY, NWI Promotes ‘Groundbreaking’ Initiative for Students!

Linda WoloshanskyTwenty-eight out of 38 school districts in the 7-counties of Northwest Indiana are participating in READY, NWI to promote career and college readiness programs covering 90% of all students, said Linda Woloshansky, President, Center of Workforce Innovations. She is co-founder of NWI’s grassroots business/education partnership to promote college and career readiness among students in a global economy. Maybe even more apparent is a growing awareness among educational leaders of the need to help students take advantage of good paying jobs in NWI. “There’s almost a sea change in attitude to work together and more closely with the business community to help students prepare for the jobs available here.” This partnership seeks to align K -12 schools and post-secondary education with business needs by building foundational skills among all students. Added Don Babcock, Director, Economic Development, NIPSCO, and a volunteer leader in this initiative: “Through READY, best practices are shared regionally through a business model involving both business and educational leaders in collaboration with our colleges and universities.” Overall aims include 1) helping students starting in middle school develop career plans; 2) encouraging students to obtain credentials such as IT and Production Technician skills; and 3) graduating more students that do not require remediation. Through the leadership of administrators, and the hard work of teachers, graduates that require remediation have dropped from 40% to18% in the last five years. “This collaboration between business and education to prepare our students is groundbreaking,” she said.

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