Transformational Organizations: Economic Opportunities through Education by 2015 (EcO15)


EcOEcO15 is a great example of a public-private partnership that was created to improve economic opportunities within a community by focusing on education and its residents. Funded by grants from Lilly Endowment Inc., and regional industry and community partners, EcO15 is led by the Community Education Coalition (CEC) of Columbus, Indiana and Heritage Fund – the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County.

The first phase of EcO15, included an investment of $38 million in infrastructure and common support services with an overarching goal of helping each person in southeast Indiana move up at least one level in their education, training or job placement within the region’s three strongest economic clusters: advanced manufacturing, health care, and hospitality/tourism.

The second phase includes:

  • A Seamless High School/Post-Secondary Framework: breaking down systematic barriers to learning by creating a re-designed framework for recruiting, educating, and placing thousands of secondary students enrolled in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-based courses (especially Project Lead the Way) into a grades 11 through 16 “seamless” educational process.
  • Community Learning Centers as Catalyst for Educating Adults: creating and improving education programs for adults and actively recruiting students into targeted STEM programs at the learning centers. EcO15 is attributed with serving as a “catalyst”, causing two of these centers to be established and two centers to be enhanced.
  • Common Support to Expand & Enhance the Region’s Learning System: continuing implementation of the Project Based Learning Academy (PBL Academy) that serves nearly two hundred fifty teachers in the region’s K-12 school districts.

Ec015 is also data driven and monitors its progress with a Scorecard, which is updated every six months to show program progress. Transform Consulting Group applauds EcO15’s use of public-private partnerships to build on what works for college/career readiness and workforce development in southern Indiana. To find out more about Eco15’s programs, click here.

Interested in how your organization can make a similar successful impact? Contact Transform Consulting Group today for a consultation!