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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

ILJAS Class Donates Benches and Firepits to Avoca Park & Recreation

BEDFORD, - JUNE 16, 2022 - After three weeks of technical and employability skills training, 7 Lawrence County residents became the ninth graduating class of the Lawrence County Introduction to Local Jobs and Skills (ILJAS) program while giving back to their community.

Through this process coordinated by the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council’s (LCEGC) Workforce Coalition, students were able to focus on paths of Construction and Welding by making 2-seat benches with a table top between the seats and metal firepits with cutouts. At the completion of the class, 3 benches and 4 firepits were donated for the community’s use at Avoca Park & Recreation.

All participants were also able to learn about Health & Safety careers and receive certification in CPR, first aid, and Stop The Bleed. Each participant now has a clear path to their “next step,” whether it involves completing their High School Equivalency (at no cost), Next Level Jobs training (at no cost), a job/career, or a combination of these. To date, 87

community members have learned construction, welding, machining, and basic employability skills.

“This program is a culmination of discussions with employers and community stakeholders throughout the past four years,” says LCEGC Director of Career Development, Joe Timbrook. “We know there is a large population of residents in Lawrence County that, with some training, could fill the current increasingly high employment openings we see with our

local and high-demand jobs. During this program, we were excited to have representatives from: WF Meyers, General Motors, Stone City Products, North Lawrence Community Schools, Basin, and ILTI speak about their companies, current employment openings, and additional training opportunities to ILJAS participants.”

“We’d like to thank our sponsors, Lawrence County Community Foundation and Duke Energy; our partner, North Lawrence Career Center; with special thanks to our instructors, Brad Holmes, Matt Olson, and Arienne Evans for supporting this effort,” says Timbrook. “This program is life-changing and it’s been humbling to witness; however, none of it would have been possible without this community of invested stakeholders coming together to make it happen.”

As a result of the success, The Lawrence County Workforce Coalition is currently accepting students for cohort 10 that is slated to be held August 9 – August 25, 2022. The ideal student is a Lawrence County resident not yet earning a living wage.

If you are interested in participating in the program, or an employer interested in getting involved, please contact Joe Timbrook at 812-583-1095 or

About the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council:

The Lawrence County Economic Growth Council is a non-profit, local economic development organization (LEDO) existing to support growth of Lawrence County Businesses including startup support, workforce solutions, and technical assistance which promotes investment that improves the quality of life for our citizens. Learn more at

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