A new initiative aims to beef up the talent pipeline in skilled trades in Allen County. The regional chapter of the International Facility Management Association has launched the Gateway Coalition, designed to educate students and educators about opportunities in manufacturing and construction.
Organizers say the effort has taken shape through multiple meetings with Allen County employers an educators. Initial ideas include presentations by area employers to 9th graders and a legislative advocacy program to help educators and employers meet job needs.
The program will also include externships for Fort Wayne Community Schools counselors. Organizers say trips to local skilled trade companies would allow them to learn about the types of jobs that are available and encourage them to present options in the industry to students. The chapter hopes to eventually expand that offering to all Allen County Schools.
The coalition is underway with a recruitment effort in hopes of attracting around 100 employers to take part in the initiative.