Wayne Township is among the largest townships in Indiana, with a staff of over thirty employees. Since I took office, I have made several changes at our office, while always keeping in mind the dual goals of the office. Those goals are being a community leader in countering the effects of poverty while maintaining careful guardianship of the taxpayers' resources.
Among our many accomplishments has been to reorganize the employment department, now called the "Employment Training Center," to help as many clients as possible find jobs. As part of the reorganization, we have instituted a mandatory once-a-week employment training class for Township Assistance clients who are physically able to work. The class offers practical, hands-on training in areas such as resume' writing, job interviewing and improving individual education goals.
I believe that securing an education is the best way to help our clients overcome poverty and to help them secure a job. The way to stay out of poverty is long range planning. The best way to facilitate both is a proper or adequate education. Our office is always eager to introduce new information, programs and ways for clients to achieve the goal of becoming independent and find jobs and careers to meet their needs.
In the past month, our office has hosted speakers from Ivy Tech Community College and the Literacy Alliance. The Ivy Tech representatives spoke to our clients about the CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) program offered at Ivy Tech. The partnership we have established with Ivy Tech Community College is a prime example of the Employment Center's efforts to assist clients in becoming job-ready.
The Ivy Tech speaker, Charlene Mantock presented information about the school's four-week Health Aid Certification Program, that gives a student job-ready skills as a CNA that include CPR, Dementia and Health Aid certifications. Once a student completes the requirements of the program, the student will be tested by the State Board, receive their certifications and be job ready.
Ivy Tech's Health Aid Program has an excellent graduation rate. Ninety-six percent of individuals who complete the program pass the State exam. Ivy Tech also offers other programs that are beneficial to our clients. One of our clients currently is a student at Ivy Tech Community College pursuing a culinary degree.
Training our staff about programs that could benefit our clients also is important. Recently, a representative of the Literacy Alliance spoke to our staff about their programs. The Alliance strives to end illiteracy by teaching adults through learning centers, literacy programs, and tutoring services that empower individuals to succeed at work, at home and in the community.
John F. Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States said, "Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation."
Before I close, I wanted to remind you of an outstanding event coming up in Waynedale on Tuesday, March 19 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Kingston Residence on Winchester Road. That is the Taste of Waynedale. Not only is the food great, but the proceeds go to good causes—Community Harvest Food Bank and the Waynedale Trails Initiative. Hope to see you there.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee