A story in The Republic earlier this month about a local couple who had returned to the classroom after losing their jobs in the economic downturn serves as an illustration of how and why this area has been able to weather the storm of the recession.
The couple who had actually moved to Columbus after losing their jobs is a mirror of so many people caught up not only in the aftereffects of the recession but in the demands of a changing job market.
Both were able to enroll at IUPUC with the intent of completing work on their college degrees and making themselves more adaptable to job opportunities that might come along in the future.
That kind of education is no longer an addendum to resumes. It has almost become a necessity for anyone about to enter or already in the workforce.
This area is fortunate in that there are a number of local institutions where people of all ages can pursue goals of making themselves more marketable to prospective employers.
Moreover, costs are significantly lower in the local area because of proximity to residence and the opportunity for part-time or even full-time employment during the educational experience.
There is also a broad range of post-secondary schools to choose from, including IUPUC, Ivy Tech, Purdue University College of Technology, Indiana Wesleyan and Harrison colleges and the Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence.
Enrollment in all of these learning facilities mirrors a changing society.
Whereas in previous generations students 30 or older might have been considered unusual and even out of place in a college setting, they make up a significant percentage of those attending classes at local schools.
These schools have also adapted themselves to the changing culture, providing services on campus in association with other local and state institutions that ease the process for many older workers who are starting new careers or acquiring new and enhanced skills.
The availability of these opportunities has been made possible in large part by a tremendous support network that has received important backing from area businesses.
It is not an entirely selfless undertaking by these companies.
This education or training network that is available locally provides businesses with a bigger and more skilled pool of workers they will need to have in order to compete in an ever-changing economy.
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