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Career Hub will Help Students Become Career Ready

For employers, no matter what industry, there is no bigger priority than attracting and retaining a skilled workforce. That is a priority that hasn’t changed much through the decades. The topic is getting a lot of attention these days, with employers, lawmakers, and communities more focused on ever than on the next generation of talent.

For students, they have a lot of options ahead of them, especially in the higher education space with numerous opportunities across our region, state, and country for them to consider. But college isn’t for everyone, at least in the beginning. More than half of all students don’t pursue a college path.

Many students head straight for the workforce and employers are hoping those students are armed with at least some basic skills that will help them on their career path. Many of those students are enrolled in career and technical education courses in their schools (CTE). Our high schools do a great job individually helping teach those skills. And many courses will continue to be offered in their current schools.

But could a collaborative effort make students more career ready? We think so, and we’re excited about the potential development of the new Career Hub in South Bend.   

The South Bend Community School Corporation School Board will next week consider final action on the development of a Career Hub in the former Studebaker Building 84. The Career Hub has long been a priority for the area and was an important component of the school referendum approved by voters in 2020. St. Joseph County is the largest County in Indiana without such a center.

If approved, plans will advance and renovations will need to be completed, with a targeted opening at the beginning of the 2025-2026 school year.

Though South Bend will be the host, students from across the region will be able to take advantage of the offers at the Hub. Nearly every public, private, parochial, and charter school has been involved in the planning for the development of the center. The collaborative effort has produced a solid plan shaped around what the jobs of the future will look like and what skills will be necessary for students to master.   

The new center will offer a variety of studies, including automation and robotics, entrepreneurship, IT support, precision machining, supply chain and logistics, welding technology, automotive services, construction trades, cosmetology, criminal justice, culinary arts, cybersecurity operations, early childhood education, education careers, hospitality management, human and social services, and TV and radio broadcasting.

More importantly, the center will be designed in such a way that it can expand or be modified to meet the changing needs of the job market and our local employers.

The Hub will offer a student experience that isn’t currently available in our area. It will make CTE programs available to more students and will offer new programs that individual schools aren’t able to offer on their own. More CTE enrollment should lead to higher graduation rates, and a focused effort will lead to more work-based learning and job placement opportunities for students.  

As St. Joseph County is attracting a number of businesses in new and emerging industries, the timing for such a center couldn’t be better.

On March 11, the School Corporation hosted a community meeting where plans were outlined, and feedback was sought. Two opportunities remain for the community to hear more about the Career Hub plan. First, a meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 15, at 5:30 p.m. at Riley High School to talk more about the Studebaker lease. The School Board will then consider the proposal at their April 17 Board meeting.




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