EATON — Harold Niehaus was hired as the new Career Connections Director through the Preble County Educational Service Center during the ESC Board’s meeting on Wednesday, May 22.
According to Assistant to the Superintendent Shawn Hoff, this position is going to be the key liaison between school districts and local businesses to provide STEM and workforce opportunities for students.
“There were 35 candidates that applied — we narrowed that down and our selection is sitting here tonight,” Hoff said. “The one word you could use to describe Mr. Niehaus is passionate.”
“What a great opportunity. In today’s economy, with businesses so hungry for good employees. Every parent, every family, wants their kids to do better than them. So they always say ‘college.’ Being the career tech guy, university degrees are fine, if they are needed for that career,” Niehaus said.
“But they’re not needed for every job. So many times I see a kid get pushed down a path, or go down a path because they had no other path taught to them. All of a sudden, at the end of that senior year, they head towards college or find they’re not ready to do that and then they’re lost.
“Having this position — it is a K-12 position in my mind,” Niehaus continued. I’m going to talk to kids young and old, parents — connect with businesses. It is exciting to go out and reach out to those businesses and students.”
At press time, Niehaus added, “I am looking forward to the opportunity to engage students and families with Preble County business opportunities. I have always had a passion for helping students to learn their individual strengths and then aligning them with opportunities that can lead to successful careers. I encourage everyone to find a career that they will enjoy and that will serve them with a ‘good living.’
“I know that this position is ‘brand new’ but I believe that it will allow all of our educational partners to better prepare students for the local workforce opportunities we have in our county. Being able to capture the interest and imagination of students in all grades is one of my goals as we move forward with this collaborative effort.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH