Much like a professional athlete doesn’t wait to train until they make the team, our students can’t wait until they apply for a job to prepare for a career. Right now, some states are offering students the opportunity to earn employer-valued skills before they leave high school. Otherwise known as industry certifications, these skills lead to good-paying jobs in information technology, healthcare, construction, manufacturing, energy and more, without requiring a four-year college degree. Employers know students are qualified for a job and our children are set up for career success.
This year, Colorado provided $2 million in funding over the next two years, Minnesota provided $1 million in funding over the next year and South Carolina provided $3 million in funding for the next year to prepare high school students for careers in high-demand and higher-wage jobs. Each student who earns an industry certification generates additional funding for the school to offer even more students a chance to learn real work skills. Colorado, Minnesota and South Carolina families will now be able to count on their children being better prepared for work, no matter if that time is right after high school or after college.
Colorado, Minnesota and South Carolina are have joined Florida, Kansas, Louisiana and Wisconsin in providing financial incentives to schools for each student who earns an industry-recognized credential. By forging a link between student education and workforce demand, schools and businesses are partnering to prepare our children for meaningful and financially-rewarding careers. Simultaneously, the states and taxpayers benefit from the creation of a skilled-workforce necessary to attract, expand and sustain high-value industries in their states that will hire more employees.
These states have shown that our students and schools hunger for the type of career skills preparation that industry certifications provide. Other states would likewise benefit from this same approach and their students will thank them for it.
Learn more about Career Pathway Initiatives at our website, www.ExcelinEd.org.