School of the Osage was the recipient of the Lake of the Ozarks Regional Economic Development (LOREDC) Impact Award for Workforce Development on January 18th at The Encore  conference room. We thank LOREDC for this honor and for all who have played a part in developing our workforce and students in the Lake Area.  Please read below for more details.


The following was read at the January 18, 2024 Annual Meeting and Awards  in advance of the presentation of the honor to our district:

"Through the 2023 calendar year, as part of their organization’s strategic plan, School of the Osage has made a concentrated effort to help students connect with local employers in a variety of industries, and to connect area employers with school district leadership to more closely align their graduate profile with the area’s workforce needs.

The Fall 2023 business roundtable event featured over a dozen local business owners/decision- makers to discuss labor and skill trends lakewide. During the same event, the business representatives heard from school leadership and graduating seniors specific efforts the district has undertaken to better evolve student skills so they have a successful entry into the workforce or higher education. In practice, this looks like expanded curriculum and engagement opportunities for students, partnering with other area education institutions and employers to provide these opportunities, and developing a student “growth plan” early in their education that is monitored and coached throughout their time in the district.

This spring, they held a career expo featuring dozens of local community members discussing career opportunities, educational/experience pipeline, skills necessary to succeed, etc. This truly represented a variety of individuals reviewing jobs in every industry present at the lake; every single high school student was able to participate and learn in three to four different sessions about industries and roles that interested them. They’ve taken this information to seek summer jobs working in the field, student internships, or class selections through their time at School of the Osage.

This school district is very clearly taking a student development approach to filling economic and community needs within the region. While the implementation of some of these projects and long-term objectives is still in its infancy, they are leading the way at identifying issues within the region and using their resources to solve these issues in a strategic, long-range manner. From the top down, this organization is taking every possible effort to ensure that their students are prepared to succeed wherever life may take them, but also that they are shaping students in a manner that helps our area succeed should they choose to stay here or return in the future. "

-Harrison Fry, LOREDC Board President