EVSC School Board Approves Innovative RAMP Initiative


EVSC School Board Approves Innovative RAMP Initiative

Yesterday (April 8), the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation School Board approved a first-of-its-kind comprehensive work-based learning program in Indiana that completely embeds high school students within an Evansville-based industry. RAMP, Real-World Application; Maximizing Potential, is a program through EVSC’s OptIN, in partnership with AmeriQual, where students will work side-by-side with industry experts to acquire manufacturing skills that they can use, upon graduation, to acquire a high-wage, high-demand career.

“The collaboration between OptIN and AmeriQual to establish RAMP is truly an innovation in education. It creates an unprecedented learning environment that will increase student hope, engagement, and success,” said EVSC Superintendent David Smith. “RAMP will empower students to be successful by teaching not only traditional subject matter, but also provide transferable skills such as the ability to collaborate, think critically, problem solve, communicate effectively and demonstrate ethical practices. All of which are highly sought after by employers.”

Beginning this fall, students in RAMP will work and attend class on the AmeriQual campus on Highway 41 in Evansville. The classroom will be a hybrid where teachers will meet students where they are on the path to graduation. The students’ day will be split between four hours of on-the-job work and four hours of classroom time. This experience will provide students with an opportunity for hands-on learning and the ability to apply what they are learning in the classroom to the real world.

“AmeriQual, like many businesses right now, is always looking for qualified employees to join our team,” said Mirsada Salihovic, vice president of human resources.  “RAMP will allow us to create a pipeline of skilled workers who are already part of our family and who can be successful whether they stay at AmeriQual upon graduation or move on to something else.”

The initial RAMP cohort will include 80 students who will be selected through an application process based on need. The program fulfills the requirements for students to graduate with the opportunity to earn several certifications; including, MSSC Certification, OSHA 10 and a Forklift certification which all lead to high wage high demand careers. Students will get paid for their work and be eligible for attendance and productivity bonuses.

Going forward, the EVSC hopes to expand the program not only within AmeriQual but also work to include additional local companies and businesses.

Students interested in applying for RAMP can visit www.EVSCschools.com/RAMPapply or speak with their school counselor.