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Viewpoint: St. Joe County Career Hub will be a game-changer for students

In World
June 04, 2024

At South Bend Community School Corp., we are committed to providing our students with the resources they need to excel not only academically but also professionally and personally.

However, we understand that traditional classroom learning is not enough to achieve this goal, so we embarked on a collaborative process involving surveys, focus groups and discussions with parents, teachers, business leaders and local government officials to identify the gaps that need to be addressed to help students excel in their chosen careers.

The feedback we received was clear — there is a shared interest in a centralized career hub. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce the launch of the St. Joseph County Career Hub. We are grateful for our school board and their leadership who have taken a bold step toward equipping our students with the necessary tools to prepare them for the challenges they may face in the future.

Superintendent Todd Cummings from the South Bend Community School Corp. speaks at the reveal for the two new electric school buses Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, at the South Bend school district’s bus facility on Bendix Drive in South Bend.

Superintendent Todd Cummings from the South Bend Community School Corp. speaks at the reveal for the two new electric school buses Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, at the South Bend school district’s bus facility on Bendix Drive in South Bend.

The Career Hub, located in the iconic Studebaker Building 84 in downtown South Bend, will be a game-changer for students eager to build a successful career. With an expansive 40,000 square feet area spread across two floors of a six-story building, the hub will offer nearly 20 programs covering an exceptional range of pathways directly impacting the workforce. From precision machining to early childhood education, cybersecurity hospitality management and many more, these courses are essential for meeting Indiana’s graduation requirements while providing students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in today’s ever-changing job market.

While the corporation’s four high schools already offer career and technical education, this hub would centralize these programs, adding capacity and classes to accommodate more students. The Career Hub would also be accessible to high school students from across the region, providing them a closer option and eliminating the need to travel farther away to other career centers.

Column: A local career hub will help high school students across St. Joe County become job ready

I have witnessed the incredible momentum created by our community partners, area schools and dedicated teachers in the Career & Technical Education program. Together, we are focused on developing the hub as a center of growth and progress. With their support, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible education to help them reach their full potential.

Moreover, this investment is a testament to our commitment to fulfilling our promises to the community. We have secured $13.5 million, including $8.5 million from the 2020 referendum campaign, to bring this visionary concept to life. The construction of the Career Hub is set to begin this summer and is expected to be completed by the start of the 2025 school year.

More: Planning career hub in downtown South Bend, school leaders want to use Clay during transition

While we are confident this location will remove barriers and provide more opportunities, we also know there is still room to grow and more partnerships to be forged. Therefore, this is just the beginning, and we believe it will establish a new benchmark in hands-on learning and continue our clear focus on safe and secure schools, increasing literacy rates and maintaining the highest graduation rates in nearly a decade.

Todd Cummings is superintendent of the South Bend Community School Corp.

This article originally appeared on South Bend Tribune: St. Joseph County Career Hub will be a game-changer for students.

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