Bucyrus students shown opportunities through local business partnerships

Bucyrus students shown opportunities through local business partnerships
Posted on 04/06/2017

The leadership of the Bucyrus Secondary School is continuing its diligence in fulfilling a building goal of connecting students for career and college readiness through building partnerships with businesses in the Bucyrus community.

During the month of March, associates from Ohio Mutual Insurance Group and Hord Family Farms met with seniors to give them a glimpse of possible career opportunities available in and around Bucyrus.

“In my position as a Career Coach at the Secondary School, I am always on the search to find community business representatives who wish to share their career opportunities with our seniors,” said Robin Showers. “After reading an email from Ohio Mutual Human Resources Manager Casie Grau, I knew that this would be a beneficial connection for the seniors to learn about the insurance world, and about a successful company in Crawford County--Ohio Mutual.”

During the visit March 1, Grau was joined by Brittany Arnett (Billing Service Center Manager) and Neill Ley (SIU and Property Unit Manager). The trio spoke with students about the personal paths they pursued that led each of them to their careers at Ohio Mutual.

“We wanted students to be aware of how local individuals, like Brittany and Neill, left the area to pursue education and returned to Crawford County to find rewarding careers,” said Grau. “Our goal is to ensure that students have a good understanding of the career opportunities that are available to them – right here in their backyard.”

Robin Davis, Chief People Officer of Hord Family Farms, reached out to Superintendent Kevin Kimmel after attending different community and leadership events with the district’s leadership, including serving as judges for the Secondary School’s Science Fair and working with a BHS senior on their Capstone project.

“We are passionate about our community and wanting to keep local graduates employed in the area,” said Davis. “Mr. Kimmel connected us with Robin Showers, who shares in our desire to create opportunities for students and help prepare them for the best possible long term career plan.”

Christina Engelhorn (Director of Team Member Services) and Jeremiah Bertsch (Production Unit Manager) spent time with the seniors providing them with information about the hiring, benefits and career opportunities and production knowledge for Hord Family Farms.

“Christina is a Bucyrus graduate and said it best – as a senior, she never knew our farm would have career opportunities for those with no farming experience,” said Davis. “Later, through networking after college, she was referred to our farm and has been with us 12 years.”

Engelhorn told students that Hord Family Farms has career opportunities after graduation if they aren’t going to college in the fall. She also outlined the personal leadership development programming we have, as well as long term career paths that come with additional professional leadership development.

“Hord Family Farms is a locally owned/managed, family-oriented business and it is important for students to be aware that Crawford County businesses have good, solid job opportunities,” said Showers. “Having this important information about both Ohio Mutual and Hord Family Farms provides our students with a better awareness about the world of careers and jobs and how they relate to being successful in life.”

Grau shared that the insurance industry is facing a talent shortage with current workers preparing for retirement as Ohio insurance companies look to grow and expand. She is especially appreciative of the district’s efforts in helping students with college and career readiness because Ohio Mutual is working to create a pipeline of talent to help fill those positions.

“We appreciate the Bucyrus City School District allowing us the opportunity to come and share our stories with their seniors,” said Grau. “Since our visit, Robin (Showers) has helped several students by coordinating times to shadow various positions here at Ohio Mutual.”

Hord Family Farms have experienced an increase in team members without a farm background joining their production team with great success. The time they spent with seniors at BHS helped the company show students what is possible after graduation.

“Our time with the seniors is so valuable to be able to share with them more about our company culture and what a career could look like for them with Hord Family Farms,” said Davis. “We heard from them what questions they had when making decisions on their path upon graduation, ultimately leading to the right match for a student and our farm.”

“I want to thank Ohio Mutual and Hord Family Farms for giving their associates the opportunity to speak with our seniors,” said Bucyrus Superintendent Kevin Kimmel. “These two companies are shining examples of what can be accomplished when local organizations synergize and work toward a common goal.”

For more information about the Career and College Readiness Program at Bucyrus Secondary School, please contact Robin Showers at rshowers@bucyrusschools.org. If your company or business would like to partner with the Secondary School, please contact building Principal Dr. Mark Burke at mburke@bucyrusschools.org.