Local educators toured Williams County businesses recently to learn what they might be able to do to help future graduates become more employable.
Local educators recently toured several businesses and learned better communication skills are needed by high school students.
The tours were part of the Northwest Ohio Education, Business and Industry Boot Camp program. Locally, it was held by Williams County Economic Development Corp (WEDCO).
The program is designed to get educators into local businesses to learn a bit about their operations and how they can help prepare students for a career.
“We spent a few hours at each location, they talk about their businesses and kind of what educators could do to help prepare students,” said WEDCO Executive Director Ashley Epling.
She added by and large the educators were told today’s high school students lack “soft skills,” especially communication.
“Almost all of the kids that are coming out of high school lack those soft skills, they don’t know how to communicate with adults, they struggle with handshakes,” Epling said.
She said many employers also said hiring young workers who will actually show up for the job is also a struggle.
This week, the educators that took the tours in Williams County, as well as in Fulton and Henry counties, which also participate, got together to discuss what they learned.
“They’ll do presentations on what they learned and how they will incorporate that into their teaching,” Epling said.
In Williams County, the group toured Parkview Physicians Group, Ohio Gas, LE Smith and Altenloh Brinck & Co. of Bryan; Sauder Manufacturing of Stryker; Wieland Chase of Montpelier; Pioneer Industrial Systems of Alvordton; and Custom Molded Plastics of Holiday City.
They also visited the county 9-1-1 dispatch system and had lunch with the Williams County commissioners.
This was the second year for WEDCO to participate, and Epling said the plan is to hold the event again next year.