OCEDC Annual Luncheon Topic: Connecting Today’s Employers With Tomorrow’s Workforce

April 5, 2017

Roger Luce

Oneida County Economic Development Corporation

Would you like to upskill your game by discovering how your business can plug into local students? Oneida County Economic Development Corporation (OCEDC) is looking to connect area employers and students through use of Inspire, a cloud-based platform by Career Cruising. Join us at the OCEDC Annual Luncheon to be held on Friday, April 28th at 12:00 p.m. at Holiday Acres to become enthused about Inspire!

Starting with the 2017-2018 school year, all Wisconsin school districts will be required to provide integrated academic and career planning for students in grades 5-12.

Inspire works together with Career Cruising to connect K-12 students to local employers and community mentors, providing them with real world experience, enriching the local workforce and ultimately stimulating community growth.

Employers can connect with students and career planners to communicate with one another safely and securely. Under common circumstances, it’s difficult for employers to know which local high school students may be interested in entering their field, while it’s equally difficult for students to connect with local experts in their field of interest. Inspire breaks down these barriers, enabling employers and students to interact on many different levels.

Inspire will help students understand their career passions sooner and help employers identify talent coming through the education system sooner. The more prepared students can be for future careers the more effectively communities can retain and grow local talent.

The beauty of the Inspire program is that businesses can choose how they want to be involved. Options might include job shadowing opportunities, career mentorships, guest speakers for classrooms, business tours or youth apprenticeships. “It is helpful for students to talk with business people.” said Mike Gibbons, OCEDC President. “There are work-based things that can’t be taught in school, things that you can only experience on a job site.”

Inspire allows businesses to submit their profiles for a database students can search through to seek out career information that interests them. This information is important for filtering purposes when students search for what they want. “It helps students dive deeper,” said Gibbons. Companies can report what they’re looking for in an employee and what experience they would be interested in providing the students, ranging from resume development to guest speaker opportunities and other job information. “It helps students, counselors and teachers make connections with employers,” said Gibbons. “This allows students to see what opportunities are available for them right here in our County, whether they choose to stay here and work immediately upon graduation or return after furthering their education beyond high school.”

Our speaker, Ms. Lynn Aprill, CESA 8 Co-Director, Gillett, WI will introduce you to Inspire. Doing so will help you connect the dots between students, counselors and employers. You'll explore concepts you can bring back and put to use in your business and your future employee plan.

Speaking of connecting the dots…there will also be a presentation by three Three Lakes Marketing & Manufacturing students on their entrepreneurial adventure. They have designed and developed a new product for use in multiple applications. Find out what they have learned, where they have been and where they are headed. You’ll even have a vote in determining whether or not to loan them funds for production of the units!

“We believe that communities are stronger when educators, students and employers work together. Let’s make it a reality in Oneida County” added Gibbons.

The general public is welcome to attend. Cost for the luncheon is $25 per person. Reservations are required in advance by contacting the OCEDC office at 715-369-9110, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or by visiting the Oneida County Economic Development Corporation website prior to 4/21/2017.