NWIPDC is on contract with nine area school districts to coordinate the Carl Perkins high school vocational programs and school-to-work. A six week summer work experience program for area high school students is part of this coordination. Students who successfully complete the program are eligible for high school and college credit.
Q. What is School-to-Work?
A. School-to-Work is an educational initiative designed to encourage students of all ages to explore what it takes to develop and maintain a rewarding career. It is not a program. No single agenda, curriculum, standard or event can be labeled as School-to-Work. It is instead; many related elements, which help students, see the link between school and career.
Q. Why do we need an education system that connects school and work?
A. Many of America’s young people leave school unequipped with the skills they need to perform jobs in a modern, competitive world economy. Today’s workplaces and those of the 21st century, require a new kind of worker- one who excels at solving problems, thinks critically, works will in teams and learns on the job.
Q. Do the courses I am taking now prepare me for a job?
A. They do---up to a point. In addition to the solid grounding in academic basics received in school, exposure to the skills required in the workplace is also needed. What better way to acquire those skills than combining school with a supervised work experience?
Q. Why will learning about careers help?
A. Career-based learning provides students of all ages with a broad range of skills applicable to any career. Those skills included reading for information, interpersonal communications, adapting to changing technologies, and common workplace skills—from appropriate dress to punctuality. Students who understand how their academics relate to their future careers are much better prepared for decision making.
Q. What are the bottom line benefits to business?
A. On the economic side of the ledger, business stands to save thousands of dollars in training cost when the existing educational system turns out a reliable workforce ready to move directly into challenging jobs. In turn, a well-trained workforce attracts more development and investment to a community. In addition to the tangible economic benefits, the system will impart workplace values to students. Classroom and workplace learning will emphasize ethics, values and constructive attitudes –traits, which contribute to the success of any business.
Val Bonney, School-to-Work Coordinator NWIPDC
217 West 5th Street – Box 1493
Spencer, Iowa 51301
800-798-7224 Ext. 134