Allie Shook, Executive Director of the Marshall County Lifelong Learning Network updated the Marshall County Commissioners on the organization’s activities.

Shook said Marshall County lacked a central space where all community members can learn, develop and maintain a desirable workforce and life skills. The solution is the Marshall County Career Innovation Center which will use a portion of Plymouth High School, the Lincoln Education Center, and a stand-alone facility on the PHS property, formerly the bus garage.

She said the goals and objectives are to provide learning opportunities for everyone which can help grow the labor participation rates.   They also want to create collaborative spaces to expand programming and increase county job retention.  Their final goal is to plan meaningful experiences with key partners to increase the number of certifications and completion of employability skills training.

The vision of the Lifelong Learning Network is an educational anchor that builds bright futures for all.  Their mission statement said the Marshall County Career Innovation Center is a premier career and technical education facility that provides youth and adults lifelong learning opportunities for satisfaction and success in their careers and beyond. They partner with education, industry leaders, and the community to empower all citizens to thrive in Marshall County. 

Ms. Shook discusses current high school courses and expansion courses.  Current CTE courses offered are Aviation Management, Building & Construction Trades, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts & Hospitality, Early Childhood Education, Education Professions, Health Careers, Precision Machining, and Welding Technology.  New courses for the 2023-24 school year are Fire & Rescue, Veterinary Science, and CCMA Medical Assistant.  In the future, they are looking to add Computer Science, Business Operations & Technology, Ag Technology & Ag-Power, EMS, and Visual Design. 

Adult Education includes ESL classes with the expansion from 2 to 3, partnering with local healthcare agencies like St. Joseph Health Systems and Miller’s Merry Manor to offer relevant courses, and partnering with Welcoming Michiana to serve the immigrant population.  Shook also said they are now an official GED Test Center.

For Workforce Development the Livelong Learning Network offers a variety of courses including an upcoming OSHA 10 class later this month.  They continue to work with industry and business through the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation’s Business Attraction and Retention interviews to help provide clarity on what is needed by employers for employee improvement.        

The Lifelong Learning Network was awarded $1.75 million in READI Grant funding with a local match of $1.5 million from Marshall County using their ARP Funding.