Writer touts PC Career Connections program


The Preble County Educational Service Center’s Career Connections program benefits students, employers, and our community. Although my work experience has taken many turns, I can provide a personal perspective on vocational education.

As a high school student, I was able to attend a vocational school in Dayton alternating work and school in the last two years. That training helped me to pay for part of my college education and afforded me an opportunity to work on campus. I also benefitted from that work experience in graduate school. Some of my classmates who entered the workforce directly from high school had a clear advantage over other employees who did not have career training.

As a manager I noticed that our plants that had access to areas with a strong commitment to vocational or career training performed better. In Mexico, I was able to hire high school students who graduated with two years of technical education. These employees entered the plant with good fundamental skills and were easily trained on subsequent manufacturing techniques.

Although my career is limited to the military and manufacturing, I’m positive that local and future business leaders will find that the Preble County Career Connections program contributes to a capable employee recruiting base.

Finally, I would recommend that any elected official who does not have a strong operations or business background take the time to understand this exceptional program.

James Harlan