Aspire Hosts Summer Teacher Field Trips with Ivy Tech Sponsorship

By Aspire Economic Development + Chamber Alliance | | 6.18.24

Aspire Johnson County, in partnership with area schools, is hosting a series of three teacher field trips this summer. These free, in-person tours are designed for middle school teachers, high school teachers, and school counselors interested in exploring the variety of careers available to students in Johnson County.

Jennifer Hollingshead, School to Work Specialist at Aspire, highlighted the importance of these trips in connecting educators with the local workforce. “The teacher field trip is a great event because it allows school staff to see behind the scenes and learn about different industries and what career paths are available in for their students Johnson County.”

These events and Hollingshead’s efforts in the school to work field align with Aspire’s Economic Development Strategic Plan which aims to bridge the gap between educators, employers, and students, enhancing the workforce development pipeline.

The first field trip of the summer, which took place on June 6, showcased careers in manufacturing.

Due to limited space, attendees had to sign up in advance to secure their spots. The tour began at 8am and included transportation to each company, a light breakfast provided by Ivy Tech, and a $25 Walmart gift card for each participant as a token of appreciation.

Letters for professional development credits are available as well after the field trips upon request.

“We had teachers join us from all over Johnson County as well as Marion County for the teacher field trip,” said Hollingshead.

Earlier this year, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education designated Aspire Johnson County as an Intermediary and awarded it an Intermediary Capacity Building grant to boost school to work programs in the region. Greg Harrell, Director of Legislation & Program Implementation for the Indiana Commission for Higher Education also participated in the event. The tour included visits to G&H Orthodontics, where attendees learned about wire and elastic manufacturing and FDA regulations.

“I was pleased to see the diversity of manufacturing-based opportunities in Johnson County made available by these three employers alone,” wrote Harrell following the trip.

“With the state’s focus on expanding work-based learning and redesigning the high school experience, it was great to hear each employer is eager or open to engaging college and high school students. I think there is a lot of opportunity for this in Johnson County.”

Participants also visited GMI to see parts being machined for breast cancer biopsy devices, and Cat Reman, where engines are disassembled and remanufactured to look brand new.

“Our next field trip will focus on healthcare, and we’ll be touring Franciscan Health, VisionQuest Eye Care, and a Community Health physical therapy office,” said Hollingshead.

For more details and registration information for the upcoming June 25th healthcare field trip and the third trip focusing on the business services industry on July 16th, interested educators and counselors can visit the events page at

Questions about the program can also be directed to Jennifer Hollingshead at