Rep. Susan Brooks Focuses on ‘Connecting Careers and Classrooms’

We at Ready Indiana applaud Congresswoman Susan Brooks for a successful first run of the “Connecting Careers and Classrooms” event series in April. We certainly learned a lot, and it was great to see so many educators and industry leaders gathered to share information.

“Connecting Careers and Classrooms” is a series of workshops convened in Indiana’s 5th District that bridge the gap between industry and educators and fuels the future for our students. The first event focused on agriculture and was held at Beck’s Superior Hybrids in Atlanta, Ind. The next event is expected in the fall, and future sectors of focus will include the life sciences, technology and manufacturing.

Employers such as Red Gold, Beck’s Hybrids and JBS United spoke about their workforce needs, and the running themes through each presentation were the importance of soft skills and the desire for more students to see agriculture as a viable career path.

“I feed pigs. What a sexy profession that is!” Dr. Joel Spencer of JBS United joked at the event. “But what more noble profession is there than feeding the world? People always eat so there will always be jobs.”

“Our work is stable, secure and recession-proof, and that is hard to find,” John Carlson of Red Gold said.

Learn more about the “Connecting Careers and Classrooms” events.

Sagamore for Swisher: No Shock Here

Although John Swisher, the founder of Sheridan’s JBS United was reportedly surprised to receive the state’s Sagamore of the Wabash award last week, put me in the category of "duh, it’s about time."

You see, Swisher was the Chamber’s 2009 Business Leader of the Year. I had the pleasure of helping to tell his story — from the small shed that served as an office and borrowed money from family in 1956 to the company being one of the national leaders in animal nutrition today with partnerships that span the globe.

But to truly understand the Swisher story, read the BizVoice magazine story and watch his video. In addition, the then 80-year-old Swisher wowed the Annual Dinner crowd with a stirring acceptance speech.

The 2010 Annual Awards Dinner, with Tom Brokaw (featured in this current BizVoice article) the keynote speaker. You’ll have to show up on November 9 to find out about this year’s winners.