EcO Network Welcomes Rhonda Fischer

Please join us in welcoming Rhonda Fischer as the newest member of the Community Education Coalition (CEC) team as she takes on the role of EcO Network Manager. In this role, Rhonda will be responsible for facilitating industry sector networks in Southeast Indiana, supporting manufacturing, healthcare, IT and other emerging industries critical to our region’s economy.  Rhonda will also have responsibility for working with regional K12 partners to facilitate and design the next generation of the EcO High School Champion Network, which focuses on career awareness and engagement strategies in partnership with employers to increase the pipeline of students enrolled in STEM career pathways aligned with high demand, well-paying jobs in our region.  Rhonda will work closely with the EcO Attainment Network, facilitated by Kathy Huffman, which focuses on high school success, postsecondary success and adult education success strategies.

The EcO Network, in place since 2007, is a regional initiative of the CEC supporting Southeast Indiana.  The EcO Network provides backbone facilitation support to convene education, employer and community partners working collaboratively to align our region’s education system with the needs of our economy.  The EcO Network has three strategic goals:  1) Move residents up at least one level in their education, training, and/or job placement, 2) Coordinate and align a regional learning system, and 3) Be a catalyst for regional leadership & collaboration.

Rhonda comes to the CEC with thirty years of experience working within Manufacturing, Supply Chain and IT, including operations management, strategy and consulting roles.  Rhonda was with Cummins Inc. for eighteen of those years.  In April 2017 Rhonda took a position with Columbus Regional Health on a crisis team responding to Bartholomew County’s overdose death rates.   As the Program Manager for ASAP (Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress), Rhonda worked with team members in hospitals, mental health centers, physician offices, jails and community service providers on coordinating change and aligning work streams.  During her tenure, the ASAP program was extremely successful in launching local strategies to address the substance abuse crisis.

Rhonda is a product of the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation, has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA in Finance and New Ventures from the University of Tennessee.   She is currently enrolled in Indiana University’s M.S. Data Science program.  She and her husband, Jon, live in Columbus.  Their daughter is a sophomore at Purdue and their son, a recent IU graduate, lives in Chicago.

We are excited to have Rhonda join our team! We know that her background, experiences and skills will be a strong asset to the CEC and EcO Network team.   Most importantly, Rhonda will be a tremendous resource to our partners in service to students, our communities, and our economy.  Please make time to meet with Rhonda as she is reaching out to connect with partners and learn about the work.