CareerWise Elkhart County receives grant award

Mar. 30—NEW YORK, New. YORK — On Tuesday, Carnegie Corporation of New York announced CareerWise Elkhart County as one of 10 winners of a new initiative to support local partnerships that educate youth, bolster the workforce, and demonstrate the power of working together.

Profiles in Collective Leadership provides $200,000 grants for nonpartisan collaborations that serve as education and economic bridges in a range of communities across the country, a news release stated.

The philanthropic initiative draws on the strengths of local government, education, nonprofit, business, and health care professionals to create career opportunities for young people and encourage civic participation. The 10 recognized partnerships in 8 states will act as exemplars, sharing what they have learned with each other and with the public.

CareerWise Elkhart County is an initiative of Horizon Education Alliance, a nonprofit organization created by education, business, and community leaders in Elkhart County. CWEC offers a 2-to-3-year apprenticeship to high school students, designed by business leaders in partnership with schools.

The program seeks to prepare students for skilled careers in a variety of pathways, including the county's significant manufacturing base. Employers range from manufacturing companies to hospitals, and from public school systems to the local prosecutor's office.

The initiative engages with all seven public school districts in the county and presents the opportunity to the approximately 5,000 high school juniors and seniors across the districts. These apprenticeships help students extend their learning beyond the classroom, and place students into the workplace in paid positions while they earn high school credit, postsecondary credit, and an industry-recognized credential.

"I'm thrilled to see CareerWise Elkhart County recognized by Carnegie Corporation of New York," said Brian Wiebe, president and chief executive officer of Horizon Education Alliance in the release. "Our schools and businesses have worked hard over the past five years to launch this initiative, and it's a great example of what can be accomplished when everyone in a community works together to help our youth succeed."

CWEC is part of the CareerWise USA network, which is now in four states plus the District of Columbia.

"We are delighted to have this additional support from the corporation, as it comes at a time when we have a solid foundation in place and are ready to scale up," said Sarah Koontz, director of CareerWise Elkhart County in the release. "Modern youth apprenticeships provide a solution to our community's workforce challenges, and many of our business leaders recognize this. This funding will help us be more intentional in how we strategize with our business and education partners to shape the talent pipeline."

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