New City Connect program helps Michigan City High School students prepare for college, the workforce and the military

Michigan City High School students discover another avenue of support as they make post-graduation plans.

City Connect is a new program, piloted last year, that was officially launched to help students in the city. Angie Nelson Deuitch, owner of Diversity Squared, coordinates this initiative at Michigan City High School, focusing on soft skills, job placement, training programs, post-secondary education, and more.

“The goal is to identify students who wish to stay in the region and pursue studies or employment or enter trades,” said Nelson Deuitch. “Our team of guidance counselors will support and coach them to ensure they get a good job, whether they enroll in college, join the trades or the military – whatever their plans for the future, we are here to help them succeed.”

Nelson Deuitch kicked off City Connect Thursday at Michigan City High School, bringing in several guest speakers to speak to students who voluntarily enroll in the program. Among those who spoke to students at the launch were Katie Eaton, president of the Michigan City Chamber of Commerce; Clarence Hulse, executive director of the Michigan City Economic Development Corporation; Jessica Underwood, Director of Admissions at Ivy Tech Community College; Kimberle Laws, human resources manager at Central States Manufacturing; Andy Skwiat, owner of Marquiss Electric; Nick Pollock, representing the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Carpenters Council (IKORCC); and Jeff Deuitch, a retired US Army veteran.

These local leaders all had a similar message for students: there is support in the community and people willing to support their success after high school, whether they plan to go to college, join the military, or find a job directly after graduation. .

MCAS Superintendent Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins speaks with Nick Pollock, a representative from the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Carpenters Council, Thursday at Michigan City High School. Both were attending the launch of City Connect, a program that connects students to academic and career opportunities.

Over the next few months, students participating in City Connect will complete self-assessments, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and explore options for military, academic, commercial, and direct employment. They will also tour the city to meet business owners and visit local manufacturers.

Through City Connect, students will also receive coaching on soft skills such as problem solving, decision making, work conduct, interview techniques, professionalism and work attire. The program will conclude this spring with mock interviews and job fairs.

Michigan City Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins said City Connect is a support system. “We are a team,” she told students Thursday. “Michigan City is on the move, and we’re here to help you be part of this great city’s future because we believe in you.”

Clarence Hulse, executive director of the Michigan City Economic Development Corporation, speaks with students at Michigan City High School on Thursday about the city’s development as they focus on future plans.

More information, including how to register or volunteer, can be found at www.EducateMC.net/CityConnect.

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