Richland Electric Cooperative 2015 Recap

2015 was a good year for the Career Education Cooperative.

In January, the group held its signature launch event, announcing the birth of the CEC. They celebrated an exciting list of partners who were joining the unique journey to form new career pathways that see success in students remaining in their communities and finding great careers and places to raise families. As the year progressed, dreams become reality when the first Career Education Cooperative class was enrolled.

In June, students and employers came together at UW-Richland to do preliminary interviews. The CEC students were soon hired by manufacturing employers for youth apprenticeships. The first two college courses for the CEC students were held in the summer at Southwest Technical College in Fennimore. By the completion of the third college course at UW-Richland, students were excited about the opportunities these specialized courses in Print Reading, OSHA Safety Training, and Career and Life Planning provided for them.

In addition to UW-Richland and Southwest Tech, the educational partners in the Career Education Cooperative include the Richland, Riverdale, Ithaca, Kickapoo, and Hillsboro School Districts and Eagle Christian School, as well as CESA #3 which acted as the contractual agent for the youth apprenticeship program.

The CEC will find itself in new territory in 2016 as it expands career pathways in the areas of medical lab technician, food service lab technician, certified nursing assistant, and continue to grow in the area of manufacturing skills. New partnerships have been established with the Richland Hospital, Hillsboro Hospital and Gunderson St. Joseph’s Hospital & Clinics. The CEC also expects the number of participating students to increase significantly after the overwhelmingly positive response from students following the December 7th Junior Day event at UW-Richland.

As the program moves forward, organizers continue to seek the community’s guidance. The first Career Education Cooperative annual meeting is slated for Monday, January 18th at 6:00 PM at the Richland County Performing Arts Center/City Auditorium in downtown Richland Center. The public is invited to attend the event to learn more about the CEC and how others can be involved with the initiatives of Southwest Partners. Those who would like more information about the Career Education Cooperative and what it means to be a community partner, visit the website careereducationcoop.com, or contact Kevin Hauser at 647-8835.