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Workforce Report | Spring Forward

March 17th, 2022

The days of early Spring are upon us in Central Ohio. Daffodils, crocus, and some very brave little hyacinths are transitioning from their protective seed coverings to emerge as young plants seeking the warmth of the sun. Every year, as we say goodbye to the dark days of winter, I am encouraged by the possibilities that each green shoot represents.

My long-ago memory of third-grade science reminds me that the first part of the plant to grow is the root. This important step ensures not only that the young plant will find water to sustain life; the root also will provide an anchor that keeps the plant from falling over. This importance of grounding while growing is central to our lives as well; even more so when we are exploring our potential work-life journey.

Collaborations between schools and businesses can provide the necessary root system allowing the student to benefit from a nurturing instructor while reaching for greater heights and testing their knowledge with an employer. Work-based learning programs can be an excellent pathway to building your talent pipeline. 

In our YTD workforce consultations, our members have identified the desire to connect to emerging talent as their number one ask. In response to this, we are providing educational events (Experience Series, Member Exclusive Huddles, and Thought Leadership) and connections to schools in the Region. 

On a recent visit to Horizon Science Academy, I was impressed to visit teachers and students attending classes to support 4 in-demand career pathways. These include IT, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Interactive Media in sophisticated labs, designed with workplace readiness in mind. 

The student body is culturally diverse. The ethnicity breakdown is 84% Black & African American, 6% Hispanic & Latino, 2% Multiracial,2% White and 2% Asian, 4% other. Moreover, 99% of the students qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. HSA’s mission is to prepare students for college and careers by creating an effective learning community with high expectations and a rigorous curriculum focused on math, science, and technology. They are particularly proud of the fact that more than 95% of graduating seniors are accepted into college every year. For more information on programming see academic videos and reach out for more information here: info@hsach.org.

The beauty we experience each spring happens because we plant and protect the seeds and bulbs we commit to the earth earlier in the growing season. 

Invest in the future by carefully cultivating and tending new growth.

Kelly Fuller Headshot

Kelly Fuller 
Vice President of Talent & Workforce Development 
KellyFuller@columbus.org