DARKE COUNTY — Darke County Economic Development has announced its “20 Under 20” award winners for 2020.
The 20 Under 20 Awards were developed to recognize students, educators, and businesses collaborating to help prepare the next generation of workers in our region. The 20 winners must be under the age of 20 and residents in Darke, Mercer, or Auglaize counties. They must also be involved in part-time employment, internships, co-op programs, mentoring, entrepreneurship or other business/education partnerships while in high school, post-secondary or adult education/training programs.
“2020 is the fifth year for the awards to recognize these business/education partnerships which are so important to addressing our region’s future workforce needs,” said Darke County Economic Development Workforce Specialist Tamala Marley.
This year’s Coronavirus pandemic, however, put a crimp in the organization’s normal plans to honor the awardees.
“We typically celebrate during a spring banquet with a hundred or more people present, but with the current situation, that is was not possible this year,” said Marley. “All three members of the partnership — student, educator, and business — are recognized, because all roles are essential for success. This year our award winners represent collaborations from a wide variety of ‘in demand’ careers including healthcare, public safety, manufacturing, skilled trades, information technology, transportation, technical skills, and professional fields.”
“The number of school and employer partnerships is growing to help develop our future workforce. Parents and students are seeing the value of these opportunities, which often include education without high debt, gaining valuable work experience in a learning environment, and gathering information about future careers based on real-life experience,” she added.
Marley said in lieu of the organization’s in-person banquet, the group will display banners of each of the winners in their home town and will be sharing coverage of each student in local newspapers, as well as acknowledging them with social media posts.
The awards are sponsored by Auglaize Mercer Business Education Alliance (AMBE), Darke County Economic Development, and Hometown Opportunity.
This year there were seven winners selected, listed below with the schools they attended or are attending:
- Phoenix Holiday — Greenville High School/Edison State Community College
- Anna Combs — Greenville High School
- Ross Dapore — Ansonia High School/Miami Valley Career Technology Center
- Danielle Winner — Versailles High School/University of Cincinnati
- Caleb Coppess — Greenville High School/Edison State Community College
- Kegan Fair — Upper Valley Career Center
- Madison Furlong — Franklin Monroe High School/Edison State Community College
Each winner will be featured over the next two weeks in the Daily Advocate.