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Industry Certifications Can Help Colorado Build a Global Workforce



Today, I addressed policymakers, education advocates and business leaders at the STEM Summit Policy Forum in Denver. The forum, hosted by the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce and Colorado Succeeds, was an opportunity to focus on expanding and improving STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – options for all of Colorado’s students.

Career preparation doesn’t need to wait until high-school and college graduates apply for a job. States can adopt policies that offer students the opportunities to earn employer-valued skills before they leave high school. Schools and businesses can partner to create the skilled-workforce necessary to attract, expand and sustain high-value industries in the state.

During the panel discussion, I recognized states like Florida, Kansas and Wisconsin, which provide financial incentives to schools for each student who earns an industry-recognized credential. These states have forged a link between student education and workforce demand, and schools and businesses are partnering to prepare a skilled-workforce necessary to attract, expand and sustain high-value industries in their states.

With half of Colorado’s labor market consisting of middle-skill jobs, Colorado would benefit from similar policies to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s careers. Their students will thank them for it.

Learn more about College and Career Readiness policies at our website, www.ExcelinEd.org.

Sincerely,

Lowell Matthews, Jr.
State Policy Director of College and Career Readiness