Hononegah plans work readiness program

Staff writer

ROCKTON — Career fields are constantly changing. To prepare students for life after high school, from college to entering the workforce, Hononegah Community High School’s Workplace Readiness Certification Program looks to help students evolve on the path of future endeavors.

The program will kick off its first year offering scholarships to certificate-seeking participants. The program was expanded earlier to include juniors, after students participating in the program offered suggestions on how to better improve the program.

Students are rated on workplace readiness and continuing education preparation by teachers on a semesterly basis. The protocol calls for multiple aspects employers and institutions of higher learning seek from prospective young professionals or students.

Each year the school pairs with businesses in the Stateline Area for the certificate program, which is separate from the overall program and offers a resume-booster for those who complete the extra steps. The multi-year program monitors student progress over the final two years at HCHS and students must earn a four rating or higher to be eligible for the certificate.

To honor the start of the scholarship awards process, and to honor certificate holders, the school will host an event Thursday morning at Regal Cutting Tool on Rockton Road. The seven scholarships, worth upwards of $2,500, is hopefully the start of a recurring funding process, which could lead to the future establishment of an ongoing endowment fund for program graduates, according to Executive Associate Principal Chad Dougherty.

“We want to generate some sustainability,” he said. “We want to see this as essential to the community. We want to create contributing members of the society and continue on into the workforce. We want to make this a reoccurring thing.”

Dougherty said the program’s development and success is owed to Career and Tech Education Chair Jason Brunke.

“He’s been the real pioneer behind the program, shaping what it is today,” he added.

Students to be honored include seniors Zoe Chipalla, Braden Fitzgerald, Huntar Franklin and Ryan Warner. Juniors to be honored are Brett Jones, Margaret Strote and Austin Wagner.