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Donna Braymer/Staff   

Ten thousand copies of the Workforce Initiative Network are being distributed to area students with information about high-paying jobs and careers available without a college degree.

Students ‘WIN’ with initiative

Ten thousand copies of the WIN (Workforce Initiative Network) magazine are currently being distributed to students in grades 8-12 at 16 area school districts. Future plans include reaching younger students, too.

The forty-page color page publication is sponsored by the Boone County Economic Development Corporation, Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce and the O.U.R. Educational Service Cooperative.

The publication dedicates space to 16 local industries highlighting the educational and age requirements, pay scale, benefits and information about the company.  A QR code is available for students to scan and be taken to a job application form they can fill out online.

 “Skilled people are in high demand. There are more people nearing retirement than there are young people to replace them. This gap, plus new job growth, is creating big opportunities for skilled careers,” Emilee Tucker, Career & Technical Education Coordinator said. “There are 22,436 millennials in the region and 58,770 workers nearing retirement.”

The O.U.R. Educational Service Cooperative shows that area schools have about 16,000 students and 1,200 graduate each year. “That leaves about 400 students in a four-county area who could benefit from these good-paying jobs and benefits,” Craig Campbell, president Boone County Economic Development Corporation said.

Campbell said the times have changed, and students who don’t desire to go to college need assistance in finding great paying jobs and careers that will sustain them for their future. 

Teachers and administrators met with industry leaders during the summer to learn more about the initiative and publication. The Fall WIN session is planned for Nov. 21, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the O.U.R. Educational Service Cooperative located at 5823 Resource Drive in Harrison. More than 200 teachers, administrators and counselors have been invited.

Tucker said, details are still being finalized but 21 schools and three industries have been invited. Ashley Cross will be one of the keynote speakers. Members of the Springdale School District and Chamber of Commerce will be helping teachers incorporate the publication into classroom activities.

“One senior CTE student from each school will be invited to attend and the hope is that their interaction with industry will lead to an internship or job after graduation,” Tucker said.

Cross said, “Continuing a cycle of the status quo is not only inefficient, but non-inspiring to say the least. Today's recruiting and promotion strategies are no longer targeting the most degreed applicants. This market is looking for two types of individuals; innovators and creators. Creativity is the ability to concept ideas, while innovation is the push to get it done.”

Parents or others who are interested in seeing a copy of the WIN magazine can view a digital version on the Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce website in the near future.

The team is working on a date in November where industry leaders can speak with students and parents about the jobs and careers available. 

For more information contact Emilee Tucker at (870) 302-3093 or speak to your school district’s counselor.


Donna has written for the HDT for more than 19 years. When off the clock, she enjoys writing for children, teaching piano lessons and being a pastor's wife. The Braymers have three married sons and daughter-in-laws and 9 grandchildren.

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