The Kokomo School Corp. is being lauded by Governor Mike Pence for a new program focusing on entrepreneurship. The initiative received a $75,000 Innovative Career and Technical Education Curriculum grant from the state, along with funding from nearly 40 local businesses. September 18, 2014
KOKOMO, Ind. – Governor Mike Pence offered praise to the Kokomo School Corporation (KSC) and local businesses for partnering on a groundbreaking career and technical education (CTE) initiative for young entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial program is new this fall, and is one of the first recipients of the state's Innovative CTE Curriculum Grants from the Indiana Works Council.
The Governor was joined at the Kokomo Area Career Center (KACC) by KSC Superintendent Dr. Jeff Hauswald, local students, teachers and area officials to recognize a $75,000 Innovative CTE Curriculum grant from the Indiana Works Councils for the KACC’s CEO Program. KACC serves nine area high schools providing students opportunities to earn real-world, hands-on experience within the field of their choice.
“I am excited about this program, as it encompasses inventive and engaging avenues for students with entrepreneurial aspirations and advances what I talk about as “Two Plan As” for students studying in career and technical education,” said Governor Pence.
In addition to the $75,000 grant, area businesses contributed an additional $76,000 in matching funds for the CEO Program. Meeting each morning for “class” at local businesses, the goal is for students to become self-reliant, enterprising and entrepreneurial thinkers who contribute to the future economic development of the Greater Kokomo region. A total of 38 local business partners pledged financial and in-kind support for on-site CEO curriculum, employees as mentors initiatives, and guest speaker programs. Students will also develop their own individual business plan for a partner company as part of the course and have access to Inventrek, a full-service business incubator located in Kokomo. Ultimately, students will have the opportunity to obtain real funding from community investors to develop their business plan.
“I appreciate the local business partners who have committed financial backing and mentorship opportunities to this innovative curriculum effort,” Pence added. “The Career Center should be duly praised as it affords students opportunities to earn real world experience, college readiness, and hands-on courses only available at this facility.”
The CEO Program is one of several courses available to KACC students through its Business & Marketing career pathway. Overall, KACC offers over 70 courses in 10 different pathways such as Architecture & Construction, Manufacturing, Information Technology, and Hospitality & Human Services, among others. All pathways afford students the opportunity to learn new skills, practice those skills in a real-life situation, and demonstrate their ability in an actual work experience. Many students also have the opportunity to earn college credits simultaneously, often at no additional cost, while still in high school.
“I would like to thank Governor Pence and Indiana Works Councils for encouraging and supporting innovative career and technical education,” said Dr. Hauswald. “This grant enables the Career Center to fulfill its mission of preparing students for high-skilled positions that meet local business needs.”
In July, KACC was one of 18 of grant recipients that collectively received over $3 million to develop Innovative CTE Curricula. The grant funds provided by the Indiana General Assembly required a 3:1 match to private investments, meaning that the grantee will receive $3 in grant funding for each $1 of private investment match. Exceeding that expectation, Hoosier businesses stepped up regionally to provide more than $4 million in matching funding and in-kind services to support the first grant awards. These public/private partnerships expand new approaches toward certifications, dual credits and internship offerings designed to align with local business needs. The Indiana Works Council is awarding another $1.3 million during the second cycle of the Innovative CTE Curriculum grant program.
The nine high schools served by the KACC include: Kokomo, Northwestern, Western, Eastern and Taylor in Howard County, as well as Maconaquah High School, Tri-Central and Southeastern (Lewis Cass). Business partners in the grant project may be found attached to this release.