Eleven Fifty Academy has been teaching skills and placing its graduates into technology careers at a high rate since it launched in 2014. The academy is currently sending questionnaires to businesses and industries in the region in order to create its future curriculum and help fill the tech talent gap.
Kara Kavensky, public relations director for Eleven Fifty Academy, was the featured speaker at Thursday’s Industry Leaders Luncheon at the Frankfort/Clinton County Municipal Airport.
“I was there to speak to area business owners or employees to let them know that we need data from them for our planning grant that they are using currently, internally for jobs and their needs, and if they can do any forecasting of expected technology needs in the future. We would like to know that. The intention is to create a plan and fit the needs of the community to help bolster their tech jobs.”
Kavensky informed those in attendance of a planning grant received from WHIN.
“My team at Eleven Fifty Academy is working with Wabash, and we have a group of interns that are helping us cull data from companies to find out what the need is in the community of opportunities,” she said. “So, there is a lot of effort in various sectors to help bridge opportunities from high school into the work force, or people who are unemployed, underemployed, and help them skill-up. There are a lot of great efforts going on in that area, and we see this planning grant as an opportunity to figure out not only what this 10-county area could need in the long term for technology jobs, but we also saw this as an opportunity.
“Being a non-profit, we can’t do anything without funding,” she added. “The WHIN grant is helping us explore the possibility of having not only the information and what we can do to help adults already out in the workforce skill-up into positions that exist right now, but also thinking more long-term about what is happening at the high school level and matching and bridging that to what kind of fundamentals we need in that (grades) 11 through 12 zone. We are working with project Lead the Way to help formulate a path. But, first, we need to find out what we need – what kind of curriculum.”
According to Kavensky, Eleven Fifty Academy has an over 90 percent graduation rate, and its placement rate, even through the pandemic, has been 80 percent.
“Right now, 92 percent of students have utilized CARES Act funding, and we have placed 68 graduates during the pandemic alone,” she said.