Workforce Development

Workforce ClusterWhat companies make up the workforce clusters? There are currently four workforce cluster groups. The groups are healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, and technical services.

Each cluster is comprised of businesses in Vermilion County who have an invested interest in enhancing Vermilion County’s future workforce. As business leaders they have a sense of responsibility to assist in helping students learn how to apply academic principals by providing resources – such as guest instructors, student internships, and programs focusing math, science, engineering, technology, career exploration and awareness. In addition to being a member of Vermilion Advantage, the workforce clusters support such programs and activities through additional financial contributions which are then offered to Vermilion County schools at no charge. Science, technology, engineering or math impacts each of the individual business in some form.

STEM Workforce Focus

What is a STEM career? Why is it important to workforce development? These are common questions asked by both students and adults thinking about future careers or job changes. A STEM career is any career enabled by science, technology, engineering, or math may be a STEM career; it is the technician working with algebra in his/her water resources field work, just as it’s the doctoral-level bio-tech researcher. Just as the STEM acronym may not be readily recognized by many employers and workers, STEM-career awareness is key to ensuring the right leaders and partners are both engaged and benefiting. The workforce clusters of Vermilion County are actively addressing the shortage of students entering STEM-based careers by providing educational enhancement programs to students as early as elementary school and continuing into post-secondary technical internship opportunities.


Character Counts ProgramA nationally-recognized character and ethics development initiative. The program is based on the six pillars of character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. Volunteers come to the classroom with stories and activities to bring the pillar of the month to life.

Training workshops are also available for teachers and volunteers on how to provide interactive presentation and hands-on activities to promote positive character building for students of all ages.

The CHARACTER COUNTS! Program can be a part of the PBIS program offered in the school districts to promote positive behavior interventions. Vermilion Advantage is a coalition member of the national organization who can provide discounts to school districts wanting to purchase classroom curriculum and supplies for students.


Gateway to Technology - GTTMiddle School Program PLTW's middle school program, Gateway To Technology (GTT), is an activities-oriented program designed to challenge and engage the natural curiosity and imagination of middle school students. For the 2011-2012 school year a new mobile GTT lab is being piloted at Jamaica, Oakwood, and Westville schools. Taught in conjunction with a rigorous academic curriculum, the program is divided into six independent, nine-week units:

  • Design and Modeling - Students use solid modeling software (a sophisticated mathematical technique for representing solid objects) as part of the design process. Utilizing this design approach, students understand how design influences their lives. Students also learn sketching techniques and use descriptive geometry as a component of design, measurement and computer modeling. Students brainstorm, research, develop ideas, create models, test and evaluate design ideas and communicate solutions.
  • Automation and Robotics - Students trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics. They learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation and computer control systems. Students acquire knowledge and skills in problem solving, teamwork collaboration and innovation.
  • Science of Technology ‐ Students trace how science has affected technology throughout history and learn about applied physics, chemical engineering and nanotechnology though exploratory activities and projects.
  • Magic of Electrons - Through hands-on projects, students explore the science of electricity, the behavior and parts of atoms, circuit design and sensing devices. Students acquire knowledge and skills in basic circuitry design and explore the impact of electricity on their lives.


Career Exploration Lab IconStudents are guaranteed to enjoy the 5-hour program that includes hands-on career awareness activities using activity-based workstations, cruising the internet to explore career interests, and learning about how choices can provide building blocks to their future. A great program prior to entering high school. All the information you need about the program is listed below. Once you have scheduled your class field day, an entire information packet will be sent to you. Program is also available to high school students, youth organizations, and adult learners.

Read more about these programs and all the other Workforce indivividual programs in our Educational Workforce Program Booklet

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