At the start of the 2018-2019 school year, the Chamber launched the Toledo Region Academic & Industry Network, or TRAIN. As a re-branded approach to Career Tour, TRAIN is a tool for educators and employers looking to connect with each other to provide career exploration experiences to students and student influencers (teachers, counselors) through a streamlined application and matchmaking process. When we launched TRAIN, we knew from our past efforts that there was a great need for the region to strategically develop, attract, and replenish our talent pool. We also knew that many schools and other organizations have identified this need and have been busy bringing together key players in the region to address these challenges.
We have already seen the direct impact from these connections. Since its launch, TRAIN has made connections in construction, engineering, agriculture, finance, marketing, cosmetology, and even foreign language classes. From middle school to high school, TRAIN has brought to light a variety of industries and in-demand careers to students around the region. Educators from 14 different school districts have either already been connected to employers or have identified that they are in need of an industry expert to help students discover in-demand opportunities available to them.
“The tour had me thinking of all the metal objects around us…like the steel fence around my house. My favorite was the metal shaping because you can make difference objects.”
“The cmm [coordinate measuring machine] is what I want to do [when] I grow up. The only thing is you really have to be smart for that job.”
Our connections have also led to bigger, career-focused events. Not only did we assist with five separate career days/programs in four districts so far in 2019, the Chamber even hosted a group of high school students in our downtown office. Students were able to learn more about chambers of commerce and what small business development centers can do for the entrepreneurs of the Toledo region along with all the resources that are available for these future business owners right here in their backyard.
The region has made great strides this past year and with your help, we can continue to grow and bring these experiences to more students around the region.
All employers are encouraged and able to access TRAIN through the Chamber’s website: toledochamber.com/train.
As Workforce Initiatives Manager for the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, Jocelyn actively works to support workforce development efforts as part of the overall strategy to attract and retain talent in the Toledo Region. Jocelyn joined the Chamber in 2016 after studying politics at Bethany College. If you need her, you can find her at a coffee shop, the dog park, or talking about TRAIN.