OXFORD – The Oxford School District is in the process of partnering with local manufacturers and other educational entities to ensure that Chenango County students are well trained for jobs that are available in the area.
According to Oxford Central School District Superintendent John Hillis, the school is developing a Maker Space program that could be the future of employer-based learning opportunities in Chenango County. The program would consist of having an onsite location where students could learn a skill or trait that coincides with local businesses’ demands.
“We’re kind of in the beginning stages of this project,” said Hillis. “They’re doing this in communities across the country, and we’re very interested in getting that program working here, in rural upstate New York.”
“We’re going to be part of a pilot program for this particular region, and if we are able to accomplish what we want to accomplish, then it’s going to expand out to probably all of DCMO BOCES before it's over with.”
Hillis said local businesses have a lot of resources to bring to the table, and that the school is hoping to make a manufacturing or other skill set incubator through the program.
Hillis added that the educational opportunity would include adults seeking ongoing education, or manufacturing businesses seeking a place to train their employees as well. He said only Oxford and Unadilla Valley School Districts have been approved for the Maker Space program so far, but eventually other schools would be included as well.