Switzerland County

Switzerland CountySwitzerland County

Building a Pipeline of Talent

For many employers and employees, the most important question becomes "what kind of employees will be needed to keep our business competitive and successful?"
Having a current pool of qualified applicants for available jobs is no longer enough for this success. The enormous investment made when a new facility is constructed will generate its biggest returns when a pipeline of future workers is in place to meet the long-term needs of businesses and the community.
In 2007, Cummins Engine, the world’s largest producer of industrial-sized diesel engines located in Southeast Indiana, estimated that over the next seven years, 65% of its workforce would be turning over due mainly to retirements. Cummins publicly wondered if there would be enough workers in the region to fill its needs by 2015.
The Southeast Indiana region responded to this challenge with a multi-year initiative called EcO15 (Economic Opportunities Through Education by 2015). Recognizing the historical educational attainment levels in the region would no longer meet the demands of industry in the future, EcO15 set out to:
Increase enrollment in Advanced Manufacturing Programs
Increase enrollment in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM
Increase High School Graduation Rates
Increase Job Placements
Increase Awareness of Career Opportunities
EcO15 has helped to develop Southeast Indiana’s sustainable pipeline for  skilled, qualified applicants for the 21st-Century economy.
The Switzerland County Economic Development Corporation was the lead partner for EcO15 in our community. Under our direction, a new Advanced Manufacturing lab and curriculum was established at the Switzerland County High School. The Switzerland County Technology and Education Center was opened in the community in 2012 and included an adult education and training facility.  A public-awareness campaign was also launched to inform residents of the types of skills needed by employers, emphasizing lifelong skill enhancement as the key to an individual’s—and to employers’—success.