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Indiana Wesleyan hopes to map out dreams with new Mobile Career Lab

Indiana Wesleyan hopes to map out dreams with Mobile Career Lab

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana Wesleyan University hopes a new resource will bring workforce development tools straight to the communities that need them the most.

Indiana Wesleyan held a ribbon cutting for its new Mobile Career Lab on Wednesday at its North Indianapolis Campus.

IWU leaders hope to connect people with resources to get a GED, find a college or training program they like, get a job certification, or build on their past experiences to find a new career.

Dr. Jon Sampson, the school’s vice president of learner success and regional workforce engagement, says the goal is not to replace other career resources but to provide broader access to them.

“There are a lot of great resources already in place in Indianapolis, in our state,” Sampson said. “We want to be here to help students, or to help individuals who say, ‘How do I get from where I am to where I want to be?’ So we’re really helping people understand their agility, their interests, and where they want to be and craft a learning pathway to get there.”

The lab is a small bus retrofitted to look like any office on a college campus.

On board, visitors can take an assessment to figure out career goals, and then develop a plan with the staff to connect to other resources at Ivy Tech, the Shepherd Community Center, Work One Indy, Christel House D.O.R.S. Program, the Excel Center, and more.

Director of the school’s career labs, Carla Biro, says being mobile is a massive asset.

“We are very much focused on marginalized communities, communities of colors, those that may not necessarily have that access,” Biro said. “We thought, what better way than to take the resource to them, (and not) waiting for them to come to us?”

IWU eventually hopes to bring the bus to communities in Indiana, northern Kentucky, and parts of Ohio.

The Mobile Career Lab made some pilot runs in Kokomo. Its maiden voyage is Monday at the Indiana Research Institute hosted by the Strada Education Foundation.

Click here to see where to find the lab.