The business and school partnership is where the rubber meets the road. It is truly about creating a learning environment that supports academic growth and the exploration of career pathways, especially in Elkhart County. Ultimately it is about working to prepare Elkhart County students to be successful workers in an ever changing economic environment. The following list includes ways our partnering businesses are supporting students who are on track to earn Work Ethic Certification:

  • Allow students to do a job shadow at your business
  • Allow students to do an internship with your business
  • Allow groups of students to come to your business for a work place tour
  • Allow teachers to do an externship at your business
  • Partner with teachers on Project Based Learning lessons
  • Join the Work Ethic Certification Advisory Committee
  • Visit schools and participate in career fairs/mock interviews/resume discussions
  • Incentivize the Work Ethic Certificate

Upon successful completion of the Work Ethic Certification, businesses are providing a wide range of incentives to graduates. A few possible incentives:

  • Guaranteed job interview
  • Applicant pool preference
  • Increased base pay
  • Bonus vacation day
  • Abbreviated probationary period
  • Sign-on bonus
  • Six-month/one-year anniversary bonus
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Scholarships

While the list of partnering businesses continues to grow every day, the following businesses have committed to partnering as members of the Elkhart County Work Ethic Certification Advisory Council:


The high schools are working with a group of business connectors from around Elkhart County. The individuals from these organizations will work with their business connections to help them understand and become part of the Work Ethic Certification.

Because of the work they do on a daily basis, the group of connectors are in the best position to act as liaisons between business and schools within Elkhart County. The organizations represented as the “Connectors” for Work Ethic Certification are:


In Elkhart County, all 10 high schools, as well as the Elkhart Area Career Center, have committed to implementing the Work Ethic Certificate program to recognize the hard work and career readiness of graduates. The first graduates to obtain WEC in Elkhart County will be the class of 2018.

Students will earn a Work Ethic Certificate upon successful achievement of the following criteria:

  • Student must have 98% school attendance during their senior year.
  • Student can have no more than 4 tardies to school during their senior year.
  • Student must have a minimum 2.0 GPA.
  • Student can receive no more than one office referral during their senior year.
  • Student must perform 6 hours of community service after completion of their junior year but prior to 2 weeks before their graduation.
  • During the student’s senior year they, must have an internship, do a job shadow, or participate in a work place tour.
  • Student must have 3 signatures verifying they have demonstrated consistent levels of PRIDE: Persistence, Respectfulness, Initiative, Dependability, and Efficiency.
  • Student will submit to and pass a random drug test during their senior year of high school.