Six universities and colleges across Northwest Indiana will kick off the 27th annual Working Smarter program, a weeklong series of workshops targeted at region residents seeking an education and better employment opportunities.
The program began in 1988 when The Times and Purdue University Calumet joined to present a series of educational programs designed to help area residents assess themselves and become more marketable in the workforce.
This year, the series will begin June 23. There will be four program nights at four different universities and colleges. The goal is to provide information on finding a job, changing careers, returning to the workforce after an extended absence, considering entrepreneurial options and becoming more marketable through education.
Wes Lukoshus, assistant vice chancellor for marketing and communication at Purdue Calumet and Working Smarter program coordinator, said the programs are designed to help individuals who want to gain insider perspectives about how to move their careers forward in a fast-changing world.
"It may be a matter of picking up a tip or two, learning a new job search strategy, gaining insights about starting a business or considering options for continuing one’s education," he said.
“The Times and Northwest Indiana colleges and universities are partnering to reach out to region residents through these free programs. Through the perspectives of professional insiders, individuals who are job searching, contemplating a career change, or just trying to figure out how they fit into a changing work world stand to benefit from Working Smarter.”
Ina Dillon, associate director of career services at Ivy Tech Community College, and Sharese Dudley-Mora, director of career services at Indiana University Northwest, said Working Smarter is important because it provides individuals options for their education, career and personal goals.
Starting Monday, The Times will profile a student from each of the participating local universities and colleges. Some are nontraditional students, and some have overcome social or economic challenges and become successful. Their inspiring stories show it's never too late to pursue a fresh goal or a big dream.