Sent from AOL Mobile MailGet the new AOL app: mail.mobile.aol.comFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail Economic Development Is About our YouthThis past weekend we honored our workers, men, and women who spend the majority of their time working to earn a better living for their families. Labor Day, the first Monday in September, became a Federal Holiday in 1894. Thanks to the Labor Day Association for another weekend of celebration.Workplaces have changed over the years and the skills to earn a living wage have also changed. I don’t deny education has always been important, but years ago there wasn’t a great incentive to finish high school to get a good job, that is until WWII.High school graduation rates climbed over 50% after WWII. And last year, our young people proved they have the “can do ” spirit, and the national high school graduation rate increased to over 80%.Our country seems to be going in the right direction. Yet….Education and workforce “talent” development experts are saying a high school diploma alone is just not good enough, that a student in high school should have concentrated studies in a career path.Lumina Foundation, the recognized education readiness think tank in Indiana, has offered this clarification. By 2025, employers in Indiana will need to fill one million high-demand, high-wage jobs and about 60% of those will require some post-secondary degree, certificate or certification.Lumina Foundation has set a goal- 60% of high school graduates with a degree or certificate by 2025.Governor Holcomb, educators around the State and industry leaders are joining in. They aren’t just being attentive, they are enthusiastic about their involvement.As one educator with whom I spoke corrected me, “60% should be the low standard”, he said. ”We aren’t doing enough. Our students must be on a sure pathway either for employment after high school, having graduated with a recognized certification, or on to college with an earned Associate Degree – that is, every graduating youth, not just a percentage.”Evansville Campus Ivy Tech Chancellor Jonathan Weinzapfel announced in a recent speech that our local Ivy Tech is ahead, that their goal for Associate Degrees and certifications has exceeded expectations- their goal for 2017-2018, 1,009; the actual number at 1,726.And, the legislature has taken action. This past legislative session, HEA 1398 helped further the concept of “talent” development by allowing more flexibility. The new law allows schools to substitute courses in a graduation pathway if that course is of equivalent or higher rigor. It allows schools to replace the ISTEP with the certification test of the career the student will be entering.One of the HEA 1398 presenters talked of the Lumina goal benefits to the students. “Having an Associate Degree in high school saves the family money- two years of college expenses.”This educator had 32 students receive Associate Degrees this past year. Considering the lower end cost of a year in college at least $20,000, this is savings to those 32 families of $1.2 million.The presenter/educator went on. “That is money spent in our community and not the college town. And, the student who graduated with an Associate Degree is further rewarded. He is guaranteed entrance into a state college as he is considered a transfer student.” (He explained colleges because they get higher fees from students outside Indiana, might prefer that student over a student from Indiana.)This educator later commented to me, “If a student wants to go the vocational route, there are rewards there, too. Consider the story of a recent high school grad. He was welding at his workplace when his employer noticed the internationally recognized welding certification he earned in our high school. His employer added an annual $30,000 to his paycheck.”The Lumina Foundation considers this focused direction a “new learning system”, one that is targeted, that stresses results-oriented education.This “new learning system” will, as Lumina promotes on it’s website, “encourage colleges, universities, and other education providers to affordably meet the needs of today’s students by counting more leaning toward a wider array of post-high school credentials, including degrees, certificates, and certifications”.It is a learning system that is comprehensive, like in one school corporation where soft skills are taught early in the 8th grade and those students tour job sites; or an Ivy Tech that teaches women in prison toward certifications; or our own Ivy Tech partnering with EVSC to prepare young people for highly desired careers in manufacturing, a program called Skill Up.There should be roles for partnerships with every post-graduate educational institution locally, including the new IU Medical Center.Our leaders are focused. But, I am reminded this new direction must be everyone’s challenge. It will be up to the educators on every level to increase their work in partnerships; Industry will have to continue to train its workers now on the job and provide paid internships to prospective new workers; and, everyone in the new learning system will need to think of innovative ways to help pay the cost of Associate Degrees and certifications in high school.There is definitely a race on among the states and within our State to get our youth prepared. Make no mistake. Whoever meets the demands of a workforce ready to go to work with certifications or Associate Degree will be a winner.If we stay focused on the “new learning system”, not only will we be helping our children and their future opportunities in life but our community, our region, and our State?
AUDUST 2, 2018 REGIONAL INSPECTORS GENERAL AUDIT OF THE EVANSVILLE HOUSING AUTHORITY
Winter Programs at Willard!