Business Journal editorial: “Prep Washington kids for Washington jobs”

We wrote earlier about the “Pathways to Great Jobs” report released earlier this week by the Washington Roundtable and Boston Consulting Group. In many ways, the report is a wake-up call: Far too many Washington students are not earning the postsecondary credentials they need to equip them for the 740,000 jobs opening up in our state in the next five years.

The Puget Sound Business Journal today has an editorial based on the report. We recommend it to you. 

In the next five years, Washington state will have 740,000 job openings, and more than half of those will be filled by people with postsecondary credentials.

Meanwhile, only about 31 percent of the Washington state students currently in our high schools will earn the credentials necessary to qualify for those jobs.

The piece concludes:

The state’s education and business community can come together to increase the number of job-ready Washington graduates we produce. It will take many unique solutions. The jobs are coming. Our kids need to be ready.

The Pathways report identifies the steps that can be taken now to get them ready. We summarized them in our earlier post:

  • Improve school readiness, with an emphasis on low-income children and traditionally underserved student populations.
  • Improve the performance of our K–12 system to ensure more
    high school students graduate career- and college-ready,
    with an emphasis on raising achievement among at-risk students and low-performing schools and students.
  • Increase participation of Washington students in postsecondary education, with a focus on delivering degrees, certificates, and other credentials in fields that will be in high demand.
  • Help students, beginning in elementary school, develop better awareness of the careers that will be available, inspiring them to think about their futures, the skills necessary for the jobs that interest them and the pathways to attaining those skills.
 The opportunities are here now and they are increasing. The jobs will be filled; it would be great if they were filled by students currently in Washington schools.