Hub 19 highlights districts’ collaboration


JASPER — Hub 19’s Jim Mehling believes if you bring the right people into the room, good things will happen.

And that’s exactly what has happened, he says, with Regional Opportunity Initiatives and Hub 19.

“The fact that we got together and had conversations,” he told members of ROI’s third Ready Schools grant cohort — representatives of Indiana’s White River Valley, Linton-Stockton and Richland-Bean Blossom school districts — Friday during a presentation at Vincennes University Jasper Campus.

“What you’re doing is important,” he added. “You may get frustrated ... but what you do by just having conversations and bringing different people into the room, you’re going to make a difference.”

Hub 19, headed by Dubois County Ready Schools Coordinator Rick Gladish, is a career and innovation hub that is housed at VUJC. It’s a collaboration between the four Dubois County school corporations, VUJC, Patoka Valley Career & Technical Cooperative and local industry.

The hub is a result of an ROI Ready Schools grant awarded to the four county school districts in April 2018, ROI’s first-ever regional collaboration. The local districts are in ROI’s first cohort.

Fridays event was an opportunity for those involved with Hub 19 to share with ROI’s newest cohort how they’ve gotten to where they are.

Hub 19 has identified five strategies for itself: Develop Hub 19, develop student employability skills, improve and align student career exploration and awareness opportunities, develop engaged and relevant learning environments, and create a strong advance manufacturing pathway and academy.

Some highlights of Hub 19’s first year include providing support for several Project Lead the Way launches at local elementary schools and Gateway program launches at middle schools. The hub has also provided support for classroom initiatives, makerspaces at schools, STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — labs, and more.

Hub 19 also supported the creation of the Automation and Robotics Academy at VUJC that allows high school students to earn high school and college credits in various automation and robotics courses.

A recent Tour of Opportunity also allowed county freshmen to tour local industries and business and learn and ask questions about the various career pathways they may be interested in.

Mehling reiterated to the school districts in the audience Friday that there’s no formula as to how you implement the ROI grants.

“If you bring the right people into the room, good things will happen,” he said.

Northeast Dubois Superintendent Bill Hochgesang said the reason Hub 19 has worked is because the work was put in to develop it. It will be no different with the districts in ROI’s third cohort, he said.

He’s excited about the collaboration ROI and Hub 19 has encouraged between the county’s school districts.

“We’ve still got a long way to go, but we’re excited where we’re going,” Hochgesang said.

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