WARSAW — On Jan. 27, Warsaw Community Schools, in partnership with OrthoWorx, hosted a roundtable with Tony Denhart, the executive vice-president of workforce and talent from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, at Warsaw Community High School.
Fourteen students from Warsaw, Wawasee, and Whitko participated in the roundtable discussion, which was held at the Warsaw Area Career Center’s Blue Apron.
During the roundtable discussion, Denhart asked students a variety of questions about their career dreams, what previous experiences led to these aspirations, and where they see themselves in five years. He provided insight about the growth of industry in Indiana and Indiana’s economic development; he also commended Warsaw, Whitko, and Wawasee for the resources and offerings available to students. The IEDC, with Denhart, is looking to understand obstacles for keeping and growing talent in Indiana and considers the voice of students a pivotal part to helping support the future workforce.
At the end of the roundtable, students were also able to ask Denhart questions. When asked what advice he would give himself back in high school, he talked to students about the importance of relationships; taking advantage of opportunities like the ones offered by Warsaw, Whitko, and Wawasee; being a continuous learner; and approaching all challenges as opportunities. Denhart also encouraged students to use their post-graduation skills in the local and state workforce.
The following list represents the students who participated in the roundtable, the school they represent, and their pathway of study:
- Doondee Patnala, WCHS, junior medical pathway
- David Montoya, WACC, junior engineering pathway
- Liz Martinez, WCHS, junior leadership, marketing pathway
- Scarlett Shaffer, WCHS, junior human services pathway
- Chloe Laird, WCHS, senior engineering pathway
- Ethan Betances, WCHS, senior information technology pathway
- Jonathan Jimenez, WCHS, senior automotive services pathway
- Derek Guthrie, WCHS, senior welding pathway
- Peyton Krueger, WACC, aviation pathway
- Breanna Thompson, WACC, agriculture pathway
- Chloe Hathaway, Whitko Career Academy
- Brooke Schroeder, Whitko Career Academy
- Emma Young, Wawasee, junior health science
- Addison Ritter, Wawasee, senior work-based learning
“We are excited to have had the opportunity to welcome Mr. Denhart to the Warsaw Area Career Center,” said WCS Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert. “The WACC is a leading career center in the state of Indiana. Our goals are to help students achieve their dreams through one of the more than 40 career pathways offered. This includes many opportunities for certifications in high-demand jobs and internships within our local industries. This event provided the students participating with an opportunity to share about their areas of study, academic achievements and career aspirations and helped foster those conversations with our students and industry leaders in regards to how to be best prepared for current and future industry needs.”
The visit also included a tour of the facilities, led by Hoffert, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Dani Barkey, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education Tracy Horrell, WACC Assistant Director Jill Jackson, and OrthoWorx representatives.