Maker Space on horizon for HCLL
By Marie Mills, Contributing Writer
The Harrison County Council received an update Monday night about Lifelong Learning from its director, Tom Fields.
While it was difficult to operate on the $85,000 allotted to Harrison County Lifelong Learning for 2021, as opposed to the $275,000 the center received in 2020, Fields said they found ways to obtain grants and donations and were able to help numerous people in the community.
Fields said the COVID relief funds of $35,000 as well as $3,000 from the Community Foundation of Crawford County was a huge help.
Last year, Lifelong Learning, located in Corydon, was able to help a large number of individuals procure their commercial driver’s license, certified nursing assistant and other health care certifications as well as their GEDs and certifications in welding.
There were 112 residents who signed up for in-person adult education and 115 individuals who signed up for Work One, Fields said.
The two largest job fairs put on by Harrison County Lifelong Learning had more than 30 employers and 160-plus potential employees between the two fairs, which took place at the Fred Cammack Corydon Farmers Market.
Altogether, in 2021, 457 people checked in at the job fairs and more than 84 employers participated in some way, according to Fields.
Fields sang the praises of the center’s website, www.harrisonlifelonglearning.com, where, at present, there are in excess of 70 jobs available. The website makes it easy for potential employees to apply from home with the applications, in most cases, going directly to the employers’ websites, he said.
New for 2021 was the creation of an internship, aided in part by Metro United Way, to help Lifelong Learning connect with employers and develop ways to educate the public about skills required by those business owners.
Maddy Marinc, a North Harrison High School graduate who attends Indiana University Southeast, made several “behind the scenes” videos of the interworkings of local companies.
Fields said it was helpful for the potential employees to see what working at the businesses would entail. One such business featured was Fred Smith Store Fixtures, with its original facility near Depauw and a newer location in the Corydon Business Park.
“I was sure there would be a lot more people with hammers,” Marinc had told Fields prior to shooting the video of Smith Store Fixtures.
“Understanding technology and how it’s used on a practical basis is important,” Fields told the council.
In 2021, there was a $1.1 million wage increase due to programs provided by Lifelong Learning, Fields said.
For example, a new CNA with no previous job may have a $35,000 salary, or a line worker for Jasper Engines who receives their CDL may see a $20,000 increase in salary.
Looking to 2022, Fields said he is excited to announce they are working on opening a “Maker’s Space” which would house 3D printers and laser engravers to help residents with potential entrepreneurs.
Duke Energy has given $10,000 toward the project, Fields said, and Harrison County Lifelong Learning is in the process of raising the rest of the money.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, the council approved monies for its riverboat sharing agreements as follows (first amount is for infrastructure and the other is for revenue sharing):
•Town of Corydon, $8,322.92 and $23,663.42;
•Town of Lanesville, $1,502.89 and $6,603.84;
•Town of Crandall, $405.71 and $3,822.87;
•Town of Elizabeth, $432.36 and $3,896.31;
•Town of Laconia, $133.26 and $2,237.95;
•Town of Mauckport, $216.18 and $3,375.96;
•Town of Milltown, $216.18 and $5,305.07;
•Town of New Middletown, $247.47 and $3,449.99;
•Town of New Amsterdam, $7,255 and $2,089.88;
•Town of Palmyra, $2,478.66 and $9,013.12;
•Town of Georgetown, $21,152.60;
•City of New Albany, $63,457.81;
•Crawford County, $169,220.83;
•Floyd County, $21,152.60; and
•Washington County, $42,305.21.
During the meeting, council president Donnie Hussung took a moment to apologize for leaving the previous council meeting so abruptly shortly after the meeting had started. He had just received word that his brother-in-law had died.
The Harrison County Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m. at the government center in Corydon.