Northern Indiana faces a crisis in providing every student with quality academic preparation and workforce development. With drop-out rates for Elkhart County hitting 10.3%, it is clear that there exists large numbers of students who will not only fail to earn their high school diploma, but will also reduce the pool of qualified workers for local employers. This combination can be deadly to community health. The Crossing’s Entrepreneurial Training Center will provide struggling Elkhart County students with their core academic education, vocational training and workforce etiquette courses, hands-on job experience, community service, leadership training, and assistance in securing employment upon graduation. These services will all be wrapped around the hands-on operation of a fully functional micro business where students learn the hard and soft skills associated with operating a business (marketing, accounting, contracts, inventory, etc.). Students who were once written off as destined for public assistance, minimum wage jobs, and worse, will instead fill the community with highly prepared, motivated, and engaged working adults who will contribute to community health.
The Entrepreneurial Center Job Training Project takes the Job Training Program to the next level in that students begin to transition their mindset from simple “employee” to potential business leader. By creating a fully operational manufacturing and lumber facility, students learn the back-office skills of accounting, marketing, clerical responsibilities, budgeting, and management. With oversight from Job Coaches, students are responsible for creating a business plan, recruiting and marketing for potential clients, evaluating supply/demand through inventory and purchasing, invoicing and processing payments, and virtually every aspect of operating a business. Ultimately, the Entrepreneurial Center Job Training micro businesses will become self-sustaining programs that will also underwrite a cost of the general Job Training Program overall. Students will receive multiple state recognized credits towards graduation for participating in this program, as well as multiple work certifications for skill set mastery. This program ultimately allows students to learn the tangible skills of operating a business, as well as the inherent value of contributing back to the community in which they live.
The Crossing Educational Center is an accredited, faith-based, alternative high school in the state of Indiana, focusing on students who have not been successful in a traditional school environment. The Crossing Educational Center has 18 campuses throughout the state of Indiana servicing over 1,000 students and currently contracts with over 45 Indiana public school corporations. The mission of The Crossing is to empower struggling students to become contributing members of their communities through academics, job-training and faith-based mentoring.