Batavia Local Schools

Dedicated to Excellence

800 Bauer Avenue
Batavia, OH 45103
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Business Advisory Council

Business Advisory Council

Joint Statement

Issued by the

Governing Board of Clermont County Educational Service Center (CCESC)

and the

Business Advisory Council representing CCESC and its member districts:

Batavia Local, Bethel-Tate Local, Clermont Northeastern Local, Felicity-Franklin Local, and Williamsburg

in Accordance with the Provisions of Ohio Revised Code 3313.821

Purpose of the CCESC Business Advisory Council

The Council fosters cooperation among schools, businesses, and the communities they serve to ensure the work of educators aligns with the needs of businesses. Outcomes of this cooperative effort include but are not limited to raising awareness of educators about the local labor market, promoting work-based experiences within businesses, and helping students prepare for successful learning and employment opportunities.

Meetings Conducted by the Council

So far this school year, the following meetings have taken place involving the Council or significant factions of its membership:

September 11, 2018               September 20, 2018

October 11, 2018                    December 20, 2018

January 17, 2019                     February 21, 2019

The Council’s Plan and Implementation Progress

Description of Events, Activities, and Programs

One-To-One Mentoring – Volunteers devote “one-to-one” time to mentor individual students at least once each month during the school year to help students build capacity to overcome barriers to their learning and future employment prospects and to work with students on understanding the importance of soft skills and helping students strengthen those skills. All districts in the county utilize this program, which last year served 127 students and involved volunteers from 78 different public and private companies from Clermont County and its surrounding area.

Implementation Progress – All 10 high schools recommitted to participation in this activity (including Loveland HS, aligned to Hamilton County ESC but with a large portion of the district territory within Clermont County boundaries). Each high school has identified at least 10 students, all of whom are connected to mentors for this school year. Many of these relationships are continuations from last school year. Guidance counselors at each school schedule monthly meetings to facilitate consistent contact between mentors and their students, and schools are accommodating when scheduling conflicts with mentors necessitate meetings outside mass meeting times.

Work Readiness Skills Program – A team of volunteers present a 6-10 week Work Readiness Skills Program at participating county high schools, focused on the skills employers have identified as lacking in new hires. Weekly one-hour lessons contain large and small group discussions centered on accountability, dependability, interviewing skills, resume building, mock interviews, respect, appearance, initiative, and attitude. Four districts utilized this program, benefiting from the participation of twenty-nine volunteers who worked with a total of 289 students.

Implementation Progress – Participation level has been maintained for this school year, with curriculum being delivered to students primarily through family and consumer science classes within the structure of the normal instructional school day. Although this program has no new schools committed to it, significant interest has emerged in these skills programs by way of student feedback elicited in a corollary student program known as LEAD Ready, a strengths-based student leadership experience that is part of the continuum of programs operated by the LEAD Clermont Academy. In particular, LEAD Ready students have been vocal about the need to develop better soft skills and practical life skills, and school leaders are gaining awareness of the thoughts of their students through direct interaction with the program leader.

Career Mentoring – Also known as speed mentoring, volunteer business professionals and community leaders participate in small group mentoring sessions in various career fields in a fast-paced session that allows both mentors and students to share ideas and aspirations, as well as mentors imparting lessons from their own personal experiences related to formal preparation and soft skills necessary to compete and succeed in their work field. Last year, 11 of these events were held in Clermont County high schools that involved 250 mentors and 1,398 student participants.

Implementation Progress – Speed Mentoring events have occurred or have been scheduled in all 10 high schools again this year with the likelihood of at least one school scheduling a session for each semester. Volunteer and student participation levels will be similar to last school year. One district is exploring the possibility of creating a session for middle school students.   

Job Shadowing and Internships – Clermont County high school students who have identified a career of interest or a career path associated with a particular company will job shadow assigned employees or work under the supervision of an employee. The students will be assigned tasks to gain meaningful experience and will learn about the company’s vision and culture, as well as gaining a better understanding of how the company fits in the marketplace. Last year, 165 students participated from six different school districts and shadowed or interned at six different companies.

Implementation Progress – Two notable activities have come on line this school year that will proliferate job shadowing and internship opportunities. First, three high schools---Batavia, Goshen, and Williamsburg--- are involved in a supply chain career pathways experience through a partnership with United Way of Greater Cincinnati and Partnership for a Competitive Workforce. Each school is paired with a major regional business such as UPS or RTS (Reliable Transportation Solutions). Job shadowing occurred in both September 2018 and in January 2019. A career expo at UC-Clermont College occurred in October 2018. Lunch and Learn activities take place throughout the school year. Co-op students will be identified from each school with the experience scheduled for Fall, 2019. The second activity involved a meeting at HealthSource of Ohio, to which all county superintendents were invited in October 2018, and at which the company’s CEO, VP of Human Resources, and VP of Marketing & Development related information about preparing students for health care careers and discussed methods of connecting students with the company for career explorations.

 

Summary of Specific Activities the Council Conducted

Many activities were referenced in the implementation progress report listed previously. Those will be included in the full listing of activities along with many others not yet mentioned:

September 2018 – Partnership Celebration: CCESC served as the title sponsor for this formal event that honored business partners and educators from each school district in the county. More than 300 people attended the event from the business sector, governmental entities, school districts, and communities at large. 

August 2018-May 2019 – LEAD Ready programs focused on leadership with emphasis on college and career preparation launched at four school sites and involved students from seven school districts.

October 2018 – Superintendents met with senior leadership of HealthSource of Ohio to learn about health care careers and discuss opportunities to build student explorations, job shadowing, and internships.

September 2018-Summer 2019 – Three high schools partner with local businesses to build extensive experiences related to supply chain career pathways including career explorations, job shadowing, and summer co-op opportunities.

November 2018 – Clermont County Chamber of Commerce creates a RFP from a scope of work developed earlier in the year, in coordination with the University of Cincinnati Economics Center for Research and Consulting, to conduct an Industry and Workforce Training Needs Analysis for the county, which will be an update to a study completed a decade ago.

January 2019 – Superintendents met with senior leadership of American Modern Insurance Group, a global Fortune 500 company, in which the company’s history was shared as well as its outlook and relatedly its employment needs.  AMIG’s CEO presided over the meeting and encourage pursuit of student internships and teacher externships.

January 2019 – BAC leaders met with the county’s juvenile court judge regarding the court’s interest in replicating employment and life skills activities and also mentor activities for its at-risk youth.

February 2019 – In addition to the numerous individual mentor and speed mentoring activities, West Clermont High School that includes about one-third of the county’s high school students will host a career exploration event during its school day 

March 2019 – BAC worked with West Clermont school leaders to build a full-day teacher in-service involving about 100 teachers that includes visits with executive teams at TQL, Tata Consultancy Services, and Mercy Health to learn about employer expectations and each particular workplace culture, designed to create points of reference and knowledge bases that will inform educator instruction and enhance student preparations.

Business Advisory Council Advice and Recommendations

As much as possible, the advice and recommendations of the CCESC Business Advisory Council have been converted into actionable items for ongoing pursuit. Consequently, much of what follows will have already triggered events, activities, and connections between the key stakeholders involved in enhancing career and college preparations of students throughout Clermont County.

Regarding Employment Skills and Curriculum Development

A.    Update industry workforce training needs analysis for Clermont County

B.    Build Youth Programs with real-world applicability

1.     Supply Chain Career Pathways

2.     Career Explorations events

C.     Search for means of assimilating more learning experiences that build soft skills and employability attributes into existing instruction

Regarding Job Market Changes and Future Job Availability

A.    Connect with major employers across the county regarding employer needs and means of creating experiences within businesses that guide students toward high demand careers

B.    Assist with development of new programs such as OTR Driving through joint partnership with two joint vocational schools

Regarding Developing Relationships among Business, Labor, and Educators

A.    Complete implementation of “Phase Two” plans of the Work Readiness Initiative focused on student internships and teacher externships with major businesses

B.    ESC provide free background checks to business and community members volunteering in programs connected to implementation of this plan

C.     School district leaders meet with executive leadership of major businesses to create context for student learning, to learn about employer needs, and to develop experiences for both students and teachers

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