A symposium will be held on August 9th at the Carmi White County High School Auditorium to bring together K-12 education, higher education, business owners, manufacturers, economic development officials, and workforce development to discuss the changing needs of today’s workforce. Many people have been working on the issue of “brain drain” for many years. The region’s best and brightest youth leaving our region for jobs. However, the Greater Wabash Regional Planning Commission is envisioning a new way to combat “brain drain”. Educating the region’s youth on jobs that are in the area; planting the seed about what jobs we have in the region and how they can stay in their home communities and not move away while students are still in middle school and high school.
Guest speakers will include Delta Regional Authority’s Federal Co-Chairman, Chris Masingill. Mr. Masingill will speak about reimagining the workforce. In addition, representatives from Agri-Fab, located in Sullivan, IL, will give a presentation on how they have successfully integrated youth initiatives such as manufacturing tours, school education days, and internships into their business model and how it is positively impacting their business and the community. Jonathan Hallberg, Director of Jefferson County Development Corporation, will be on hand to discuss the “soft skills” problem in the workforce and the WorldClass Workforce initiative that has been successful in Jefferson County businesses and schools.
The symposium is the culmination of a yearlong initiative in which the region received a USDA/RD grant entitled Stronger Economies Together. Over 100 participants have taken part in the planning and goal setting for the region. One of the plan’s main goals is successful employability of the region’s workforce. All employers in the region are all invited to attend. Plan to attend the symposium on August 9th from 10:00a.m.-1:30p.m., lunch will be provided. To register go online www.gwrpc.com. GWRPC serves a seven county region in Illinois that includes Crawford, Edwards, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White.