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MOUNT VERNON — Knox WorkDev has completed it’s 2022 Activity Report and documented its impact throughout the county by helping high school youth prepare for employment in the post-high school workforce.

WorkDev, an extension of Knox County’s Area Development Foundation, is a group of professionals in Knox County committed to identifying workforce issues and actively creating solutions through communication, education and collaboration.

An activity report wasn’t created in 2021 — due to not having the capacity to do so, Economic Development Coordinator Julia Greenich-Suggs said.

“The good news is that WorkDev has grown so significantly that we can achieve more programming and have the capacity to publish the report and invest in marketing initiatives,” she said.

In WorkDev’s report, the group met with 175 high school seniors at the Career Navigator in 2022, which educates students on career opportunities that best fit their goals.

Sean McCutcheon, the career navigator for Knox Educational Service Center, met with high school students from Centerburg, Fredericktown, East Knox and Danville to provide resources and support. In the Spring of 2022, McCutcheon organized over 80 in-school job interviews for students with local companies. In Fall 2022, he met with 175 students to begin exploring their career pathways.

Also in the Fall 2022, 56 high school students from county schools attended the Knox Healthcare Career Expo interested in working in the healthcare field. The expo had five stations students could go through, understanding the description, responsibilities and pathways to specific careers.

It allowed students to know about jobs in healthcare that aren’t limited to doctors. Along with nursing, the stations included technician positions, maintenance, housekeeping and culinary.

Twenty-one people completed Knox ASPECT receiving interviews with 11 manufacturing businesses. The program had 19 graduates in 2022.

The ASPECT program focuses on candidates interested in a career in manufacturing by teaching skills for the industry such as continuous improvement, team management and other skills.

“Collaborating with the incredible professionals on the WorkDev team is inspiring. Our programming is helping give Knox County a significant competitive advantage for workforce development,” Greenich-Suggs said. “In 2023, WorkDev plans to continue pursuing our mission by creating more opportunities for residents to connect with high-quality jobs and to support our companies by ensuring they have a qualified workforce.”

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