Tag Archives: Indiana

The Best of Kazuri Beads

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Visited Kazuri (small and beautiful) Beads. We meet the women that make beautiful beaded jewelry and accessories and take a tour of the facility. From soil to clay to paint to bake.

Those reading in Indianapolis can check out the selection  of jewelry at The Village Experience fair trade retail location at 6055 N. College Ave.


On Nairobi and a visit to the elephant orphanage

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Jambo (Hello) and Karibu (Welcome)

Arriving to Nairobi on a Sunday evening is good form as traffic can be troublesome during weekdays and Friday and Saturday nights. I get picked up from the airport and simply observe Nairobi on our drive to Wildebeest Eco Camp. The matatu (bus) stations have no lighting. In fact, there isn’t much light at all along man-made walking paths in the grass along the side of the road. It is a struggle for passengers to even cross street battling against the traffic. We pass mutatu stations with Wangari Maathai graffiti. Maathai was a Kenyan environmental and political activist. Her memoir, Unbowed, was recommended by our Village Experience guide prior to the trip. In Unbowed, Maathai does a great job of telling her story where the reader can understand what it was like to grow up in Kenya alongside learning about the history of the country.¬†Drivers, my driver included, seem to drive without fear. They drive with faith, assertiveness and confidence. There are very few traffic lights and a couple roundabouts on this particular journey. Approaching the gated Eco Camp at dark, I hear frogs and walking up to my tent I take in the wonderful floral essence.

Our first day in Nairobi we visit The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage. A beautiful and peaceful way to start the trip. They are open to the public daily during the 11 a.m. feeding time. We were joined by two classrooms of children. I couldn’t help but wonder if this is a frequent opportunity for these students or if today, together, we are all sharing this experience for the first time.

Grateful for the opportunity to join this itinerary organized by our host and Indy native, Kelly Campbell for The Village Experience: Upcoming Sustainable Tourism Trips.

2018 : 930,000 Jobs Need Filled

Here’s the catch, included in the projected 930,000 jobs available in the state of Indiana (due to job growth and vacancies), 55% of them will require a college degree. With productivity growth means a need for increase knowledge and skills in the ever advancing technology involved. At this point, we simply do not have a workforce with the required skills to fill these positions. Isn’t that worrisome?

Congressman Joe Donnelly was interviewed by Inside Indiana Business with that huge headline that ‘$20/hour paying jobs are going unfilled‘. I was reminded of a presentation I attended in January where Jamie Merisotis, President of the Lumina Foundation, gave us some insight:

Today in the US, 63% of High School students enroll in college. One Third of them actually obtain a degree. If you want to compare this to other nations: Korea 58% of 25-34 year olds hold a degree, Japan 55%, Ireland 45%.

Other Indiana Stats:

– 33% of the state’s 3.4 million adults holds at least a 2-yr degree. National Average, 38% — still a little scary if you ask me.

– The state projects a college attainment rate of 44% in 2025.

Ideas looking forward:

Colleges and Corporations Must Work Together

Professors and Corporate leaders need to work hand in hand to determine what our students should be learning to be ready to enter the workforce.

Donnelly had commented that we need to make sure that we provide our students with the skills manufacturer’s are seeking and enable innovation through incentives. I would be curious to see the big plan on how best to position Indiana as the ‘Manufacturing Economy of the Future.’ Sounds very progressive.

Prospects : Increasing Human Capital

730,000 people in Indiana have attended college, but have not completed their degree.

It costs $48 to find and re-enroll each person.

Tuition Reimbursement programs are in place to encourage corporate support in investing in their workforce. Challenges in the global marketplace require that skills and training be constantly upgraded. Can we keep up?

Supporting innovation, increases job growth which in turn generates more money in our economy.

You can view Jamie Merisotis, Lumina Foundation presentation here.

Most of the statistics in this article came from the Lumina Foundation website, with so much more information available if you are so inclined: http://www.luminafoundation.org/