Ivy Tech Kokomo launches Career Coaching and Employer Connections Program

SOURCE: News release from Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region

KOKOMO, Ind. – Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo is welcoming students to participate in its new Career Coaching and Employer Connections (CCEC) program, which brings together career development and employer outreach to meet the needs of the workforce.  

Created with the student in mind, CCEC creates a cohesive model for student and employer engagement. This new, more strategic approach will emphasize comprehensive career readiness practices offered alongside academic preparation throughout a student’s college experience.  

“Ivy Tech is becoming known as the place to launch your career for students of all ages as well as the place to seek top talent for employment opportunities,” said Ivy Tech Kokomo Chancellor Dean McCurdy. “With the ever-changing workforce, Ivy Tech provides custom training to meet the demands of companies looking to skill-up current employees, allowing employers to grow and retain personnel so both the organization and the people who work there can thrive.” 

For students, the Career Coaching and Employer Connections program will provide the opportunity for: 

  • Creation of a Career Development Portfolio. Students can showcase why an employer should hire them in this portfolio, which will include resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, work-and-learn experiences, and the professional network and connections they have built with support from their CCEC team. 
  • Career coaching. A focused, one-to-one relationship will help students figure out the right steps for a career path that matches their values, interests, personality, and skills. 
  • Work-and-learn experiences. Students will have the opportunity to build relationships with employers and gain direct experience in careers that interest them; examples include working with professionals in a tech company or assisting on a Human Resources team in a healthcare organization. 

For employers, the CCEC program represents a new commitment to helping them find top talent for their workforce needs. It also offers opportunities to skill-up current employees with custom training. By closely aligning the student experience with employer needs, the CCEC program is designed meet the specific skills and training needs of employers in Indiana and neighboring states. 

“Ivy Tech’s Career Coaching and Employer Connections initiative will be a game changer for both employers and student job-candidates,” said Jennifer L. Hindman, vice president and chief operating officer of Community Howard Regional Health.  

“As a student job-candidate, knowing that you will be well equipped to tackle an interview or have a comfortable conversation with a potential employer will create opportunities that might not have otherwise existed,” she continued. “For employers, having a relationship with Ivy Tech where they understand the business needs and desired skills necessary for an organization to be successful is a pivotal difference in selecting qualified candidates for roles. Thank you, Ivy Tech, for recognizing the importance of developing a talent pipeline that will take students to the next level.” 

Organizations supporting Ivy Tech’s CCEC program include Lilly Endowment, Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, Central Indiana Community Foundation, Glick Fund, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Garatoni-Smith Family Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and Salesforce. 

The College is rolling out the new model to its 18 campuses through a phased approach over four years. Kokomo, along with Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend/Elkhart, Sellersburg, and Madison, were in the lead phase that began last fall. The Kokomo Service Area includes Cass, Fulton, Howard, Miami, and Tipton counties 

Stephen Waddel is heading up Ivy Tech Kokomo’s CCEC team as executive director, leading a team that includes:  

  • Jake Adams, employer consultant, who will work with employers to align talent pipeline development with employer and market demand and deliver workforce training to meet employer upskilling needs. 
  • Mary King and Emmy Schram, career coaches, who will support students in career exploration, completing Career Development Portfolio (CDP) milestones, and developing career readiness. 
  • Gerry Vasquez, apprenticeship coordinator, who will work with employers and apprentices to provide technical training for apprenticeships in all industry sectors. 
  • Mimi Davis, career experience specialist, who will act as a bridge between employers and career coaches to help students obtain work-and-learn and employment opportunities. 
  • Susan Turrill, CCEC administrative assistant, who will provide administrative support to the team. 

To learn more about services and opportunities offered by the CCEC, contact Stephen Waddel by email at swaddel@ivytech.edu or by phone at 765-252-5545.