Chole Brookbank: Program prepares Jennings High School students for careers

Seventeen seniors at Jennings County High School have chosen to pursue the Governor’s Work Ethic Certificate.

Students involved in the Jennings County WEC program are measured in nine areas of academic and work ethic competency. Five out of the nine require a written letter by their assigned company/community mentor.

These five include: persistence, respectfulness, initiative, dependability and efficiency.

Some of the companies that the school partners with are Cummins Inc., Decatur Mold Tool & Engineering, Ivy Tech Community College, Jennings County Schools, Layman Fabrication, Martinrea Industries, Ascension, Dave O’Mara Contractors, Expert Eyecare and Rose Acre Farms.

One company involved in the certificate program is Decatur Mold Tool and Engineering, Inc. and their affiliated business, Decatur Plastics.

Debbie McKeand is human resources manager and mentor at Decatur Mold. “We let JCHS know that we were available to mentor a student and have been working with Delaynie Maschino. Sharing business approaches to competencies as well as discussing career paths have been the focus.”

Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and are must stay “on track” with their graduation requirements to participate in the program. Students also must have one or fewer discipline referrals for the school year and the student has to complete six hours of community service.

McKeand added, “I think it’s a good program to help expose the high school students to various employment opportunities, and potentially help them in their career path decision.”

Drew Yeager, one of the JCHS seniors who participates in the program, is mentored by Travis Gabehart, director of initiatives at Ivy Tech Community College.

Drew said, “Although I don’t intend to work in the higher education field, Travis and the program have given me a tremendous amount of career and college advice. I am able to learn from him and his diverse career background.”

“I have learned a lot from the program, and the importance of numerous career proficiencies,” Drew said of the program. “Overall, I believe that that program is beneficial as a future career worker and college student.”