Most people who have heard of Career Opportunities in Rural Education think it’s a program at Milford Central School where adults can go to take classes to help them get a better job. That’s true, but it’s probably not the best description of CORE.
“About 75 percent of our initiative is in directing people toward the resources that already exist,” the director of CORE, Liz Rickard, said. “Only 25 percent of it is coordinating the classes that we feel aren’t being delivered to the population.”
CORE provides education and training in three main curriculum areas — STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). health care and entrepreneurship. The program got its kick-start in 2010 when MCS applied for a grant through the Appalachian Regional Commission. The grant money received allowed for the launch of program in February 2011.
Part of CORE’s mission is to help local people get local jobs.
“There’s such a lack of education in our county about what jobs are available,” Rickard pointed out.
Rickard said she has found that there are certain jobs people don’t typically think about being available in our area, such as engineering.
“Any industry that has a manufacturing component is actively looking for engineers,” Rickard said. “Ioxus, Custom Electronics, the Raymond Corporation in Chenango County, Sportsfield Specialties Incorporated in Delaware County — all of them have told me specifically that they are looking for engineers.”
One aspect of CORE that program leaders feel is vital is their relationship with businesses in the area.
“This network that we’re establishing will really help those people who are coming into our program, that would otherwise be left cold calling trying to get a job, to have a network base that they can reach out to,” Rickard explained.
The people at CORE also realize that anyone who already has been trained to do a particular job has an advantage landing that job.