Work Ready in Scott County – Scottsburg High School Students Excel in Welding & Advanced Manufacturing Training

This is the first article in a two-part series on workforce development programs available to high school students in Scott County in partnership with the City of Scottsburg, the Scott County Economic Development Corporation and the Mid-America Science Park. 

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In December, 83% of Mullins’ students earned their MSSC Safety Certificate. This is the highest pass rate since initiating the advanced manufacturing program at MASPark, and it exceeds the average pass rate in Indiana.

They haven’t entered the workforce yet, but a number of Scottsburg High School students are taking steps now to ensure their success in the future. Their school days start just like any other, but by mid-morning they are on their way to the Mid-America Science Park to learn skills they can apply in today’s advanced manufacturing and welding fields.

This style of learning may be unfamiliar to parents, and it’s certainly not the same manufacturing people were talking about 30 years ago. These students are engaging in highly skilled training using the latest technology, and it’s a smart move for those motivated to graduate a step ahead of their peers. They will graduate career-ready. Or, if they choose to pursue a two- or four-year degree, these courses are offered as dual-credit opportunities via Ivy Tech and can be applied toward a degree.

Kyle Mullins, the career and technical education teacher at Scottsburg High School, leads the dual-credit program and starts with students as freshman in an introduction to engineering class. From there, they can spend their sophomore and junior years earning industry certifications from the American Welding Society (AWS) and Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC). By their senior year, they are positioned to earn advanced certificates or ideally, complete an internship with a local employer.

There are currently 18 Scottsburg High School students enrolled in welding and 12 in advanced manufacturing. “Our students are digital natives. They’ve grown up with technology, and it’s familiar to them,” said Mullins. “Today’s manufacturing environment allows them to use those skills and that passion for gainful employment and a successful career.”

In December, 83% of Mullins’ students earned their MSSC Safety Certificate. This is the highest pass rate since initiating the advanced manufacturing program at MASPark, and it exceeds the average pass rate in Indiana.

Mullins’ visionary approach relies heavily on industry feedback to ensure he is structuring his curriculum to address the skills gap in manufacturing and related positions, particularly among local employers. Mullins is also working hard to build relationships with local manufacturers to secure more internship and job shadowing opportunities for his students.

If you are an employer interested in offering welding or advanced manufacturing internships, please contact Kyle Mullins at (812) 752-8927 x7134. 

Kyle Mullins is from Charlestown, Ind., and earned a degree at Purdue University in engineering and technology education. In addition to his teaching position, he is the head football coach at Scottsburg High School. 

Dual-credit courses for Scottsburg High School students began at MASPark in 2013. The program has expanded to include Austin and Crothersville High Schools, which will be the focus of the second article in this series. The Scottsburg Redevelopment Commission recently approved funding for CNC machining equipment that will allow students to train with equipment used in the field. 

Indiana Women Invited to Apply for Scholarship Opportunity; Deadline is Dec. 4

Indiana’s POWER (Political Organization for Women’s Education & Representation) Caucus is inviting women students to apply for a scholarship opportunity and use the education they receive to better themselves and help others around them. Women who are pursuing their educational endeavors in Indiana may apply now for a 2016 POWER Scholarship.

Screenshot 2015-11-24 08.58.50POWER seeks to provide 18 scholarships ($750 each) to non-traditional women students from across the State of Indiana, whose education was delayed or interrupted, with a vision to succeed despite any adversities life has presented. This may include women who are returning to school after a hiatus, changing careers, seeking advancement in their career or work life, and stay-at-home moms entering the workplace who are in need of additional education/training.

POWER also seeks to recognize women who give back to their communities and whose goals and desires for education align with their passions. Students may apply online at www.INPowerCaucus.org/powerscholarship/ or download an application. Click here to view the scholarship criteria. This scholarship is not intended for recent high school graduates or women who are eligible for or have already received other significant financial aid.

Scholarship applications for the 2016 awards will be accepted until Friday, December 4, 2015, and must be postmarked by this date. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact POWER at (317)232-9798 or via email.

SCEDC Annual Meeting – Good Things Are Happening in Scott County!

Thank you to everyone who attended the SCEDC Annual Meeting! We had a wonderful evening and heard from an excellent panel of speakers about the many good things that are happening in Scott County. The following community leaders participated in the program, and their presentations can be found below:

View the presentation here:

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We also shared a video highlighting economic and workforce development success in Scott County:

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The SCEDC team is dedicated to assisting businesses, educators and other community partners throughout Scott County. Contact us learn more about the good things happening in Scott County!

 

Scott County Business Receives USDA Rural Development Funding

Indianapolis, IN, October 22, 2015 – USDA Rural Development has announced the selection of Scott County business Goat Milk Stuff as a recipient of a $250,000 Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG). Today’s announcement is one part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

“Today we see an increase in value-added products in the marketplace that are derived from raw agriculture commodities,” said Philip Lehmkuhler, USDA Rural Development Indiana State Director, “These projects will help support the continued development of innovative products that are not only helping find alternative energy sources but also bringing higher value for agriculture commodities.”

Scottsburg Mayor William Graham noted, “We are very proud to have Goat Milk Stuff in our community and for them to share with the world what they have and what a Value-Added Producer Grant can do. They’ve gone from making soap to also making cheese and candies, which adds a lot of value to what you can derive from goats. It’s also amazing how they involve their children who have become entrepreneurs in their own right.”

Goat Milk Stuff, located in Scottsburg, Indiana, will use the funds to manufacture and market goat milk caramels online to their existing large customer base of over 54,000 customers and locally at their retain store on the farm.

The Value-Added Producer Grants may be used for feasibility studies or business plans, working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy projects. Eligible applicants include independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures. Value-added products are created when a producer increases the consumer value of an agricultural commodity in the production or processing stage.

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

Rural Development
5975 Lakeside Boulevard
Indianapolis, IN 46278
Voice 317.290.3100
Email: darrell.mowery@in.usda.gov
Web: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov

Release No.: 16-01
Contact: Darrell Mowery, (317) 295-5770, darrell.mowery@in.usda.gov

Increase in Events at Mid-America Science Park Boosts Scott County Economy

The Mid-America Science Park (MASPark) in Scott County is bustling with activity, and each month seems to be busier than the last. From training sessions to business meetings to large-scale events, MASPark has welcomed thousands of visitors from across the country to Scottsburg, making a name for itself as one of the top venues in Indiana. As MASPark builds the event side of its business, repeat customers are becoming the norm.

“Offering quality service to every person who walks into MASPark is one of our top priorities,” said Executive Director Joe Pearson, Ed.D. “Visitors are coming back to Scott County because we exceed their expectations, and they feel welcome here. The increase we’re experiencing in traffic benefits local hotels, shops and restaurants, too.”

The National FFA Annual Convention & Expo will return to MASPark this October.

The National FFA Annual Convention & Expo will return to MASPark this October. This will be the third year that the FFA has come to Scottsburg for their annual event.

While MASPark attracts visitors from outside Scottsburg, it’s also an integral part of the local community. Scott County residents and employers alike take advantage of having a first-class venue nearby. For employers, the training and meeting spaces offer great value because they save time and travel costs. Scott County residents treasure the memories made with family, friends and neighbors during community celebrations, weddings, birthday parties and more.

“It’s rare for a community the size of Scottsburg to be home to a regional hub like MASPark,” said Mayor Bill Graham, “It’s a catalyst for economic development, workforce training, education and quality of life. MASPark has a positive impact on our community like nothing else can, and it represents a bright future for the next generation.”

A number of spaces and amenities are available at MASPark including: (Click here for a virtual tour.)

  • The 120-seat Presentation Hall is an attractive space equipped with state-of-the-art technology, theater-style seating and a large built-in screen for presentations.
  • The Banquet Hall can hold up to 300 people and accommodate a variety of layouts. The newly remodeled space features a 9-by-12-foot projection screen, a built-in stage with podium and a high-quality sound system.
  • MASPark has four executive conference rooms that can accommodate groups ranging from 10 to 48 individuals depending on the client’s desired layout.
  • Two secure rooms compliant with defense protocols are available to clients whose projects involve sensitive information.
  • MASPark’s beautiful outdoor courtyard is equipped with a fire pit and colorful seasonal landscaping. It offers the perfect setting for a group discussion or visiting with friends.

For more information, please visit the Mid-America Science Park online at MASPark.org.