West Central CTE program certified as State Earn and Learn (SEAL)

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West Central CTE program certified as State Earn and Learn (SEAL)

INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 2, 2020) – The Industrial Automation and Robotics program at West Central Indiana Career & Technical Education in Crawfordsville received official recognition Oct. 28 as a certified State Earn and Learn (SEAL) from the Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship (OWBLA). OWBLA is part of Gov. Eric J. Holcomb’s Next Level Agenda.

This certified program allows students to graduate with industry credentials, college credits and valuable work experience from local employer Pace Dairy Foods, a cheese packager for the Kroger supermarket chain.

The SEAL program at West Central Indiana CTE will be ready to launch for the 2021-22 school year. While still in high school, students can earn up to 27 Ivy Tech Community College dual credits and two industry-recognized certifications. Pace will provide students with opportunities for paid work-based learning experiences, which includes more than 1,300 hours of on-site learning and classroom instruction. Upon completion of the SEAL, students will be qualified to interview for full-time production technician positions at Pace.

“Pace has consistently demonstrated that local talent retention is a priority for their facility,” said Matt DeGolyer, a regional director of OWBLA. “The SEAL program will offer Pace the unique opportunity to showcase their career opportunities to local high school students and create a valuable talent pipeline for its business and local community.”

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is helping to skill-up the state’s workforce by developing and facilitating comprehensive work-based learning programs with education and industry partners, offering SEALs to employers and education partners through its OWBLA.

“This innovative SEAL allows students to develop in-demand skills and leave high school with dual credits and industry-recognized certifications,” said Sara Nicodemus, Director of the West Central Indiana CTE. “The partnership with Pace Dairy Foods generously benefits the student’s ability to gain industry knowledge, competitive pay and career mentorship.”

Rob Garhart, Director of Human Resources at Pace, said: “The SEAL program was a perfect fit for the direction that our business is moving in. Operating in a smaller community presents many challenges when it comes to recruiting for top talent. Our hope is that the SEAL program can help us attract and retain the area’s top talent and, in return, we can offer a rewarding professional career.”

SEALs are structured, scalable training and learning programs ranging from eight weeks to two years in length and include industry-recognized certifications tailored for any sector. They are designed to meet the skills that employers demand, are geared toward both adult and youth populations, and satisfy Indiana’s new graduation pathway requirements.

DWD projects Indiana employers will need to fill 1 million plus jobs in the next 10 years, half of which will not require a four-year college degree, but some type of certification or credential beyond a high school diploma.

For more information about the SEAL program, email the DWD Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship at wbl@dwd.in.gov.


Back Row (L-R) - Jesse Burgess (Southmont High School Principal), Dr. Shawn Greiner (Southmont Schools Superintendent) ; Front Row (L-R) - Cole Endicott, Clayton Moellers, Rosa Perez, Sara Nicodemus (West Central Indiana CTE Director), Matt DeGloyer (Regional Director, Indiana OWBLA), Carrie Lively (Senior Director, Indiana OWBLA), Tracy Mobley, Rob Garhart, Lori Holt (Pace Dairy).


About the Indiana Department of Workforce Development
DWD serves the worker and the employer to ensure workplace success. DWD is committed to innovating and invigorating Indiana’s economic future by providing WorkOne Career Centers, Unemployment Insurance, Labor Market Information, Regional Workforce Strategies and Professional Training. Through these services, DWD is able to develop a premier workforce that enables Indiana employers to flourish and entices businesses from outside our state to relocate to Indiana.


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