Ready Washington releases new “Career Ready” video: Job opportunities reinforce importance of education accountability

The latest “Career Ready” video released by Ready Washington, a coalition supporting career- and college-ready learning standards, puts a face on career opportunities in our state. 

Students in Washington state have many career paths available to them after they graduate high school, and learning about potential jobs they might pursue is an important part of preparing for their futures.

At McKinstry, a Washington company with a wide mix of career jobs, students can get a window into several career paths in the latest Ready Washington video, “Career Ready..” 

It’s a short introduction into an expanding world of career opportunities that are available to students with the right education. and training. As Ready Washington writes,

The many different career paths at McKinstry are indicative of Washington state as a whole. A recent report found that Washington employers anticipate 740,000 job openings over the next five years. A majority of those jobs will require a postsecondary credential, such as a technical or industry certification, apprenticeship, or degree. In Washington state, a 24-credit high school diploma is the bridge to any number of options, whether those be work, training, or college.

In our foundation report, we cited the 24-credit high school diploma as progress in improving K-12 education.

Legislators recently enacted several measures that are expected to increase the probability that public education will better prepare students for 21st century success:

  • 2014: Passed a 24-credit requirement for graduation from high school (to be effective for students graduating in 2019).38 This better aligns graduation requirements with college-entry requirements.

The state Board of Education endorses the graduation requirement, saying, 

The State Board’s vision is of an education system that prepares all students for college, career and life. In Washington, high school students must meet credit and testing requirements. In support of this vision, the Board worked to create a 24-credit framework designed to be both rigorous and flexible. Elements of this framework are being phased-in for the Class of 2016, and the full 24-credit credits will be required for the Class of 2019.,,

The Board believes that new credit requirements and new learning standards, combined with the excellent work of Washington’s educators and schools, will help all students graduate prepared for their next steps in life.

Preparation – education and training – paves the way for career success. The Ready Washington video includes this observation:

[McKinstry CEO] Dean Allen knows the future is bright for Washington kids, especially those who plan their paths early. “The sooner kids can understand that they can do it, and they can achieve it, and they find something that’s exciting, the sooner they’ll be driving their own educational progress.”

There have been some calls in this legislative session to relax standards and requirements. But the real world experience in firms like McKinstry and others – the firms that will provide 740,000 new job opportunities over the next five years – prove that this is not the time to sound retreat. There’s too much at stake.

Besides, as Dean Allen says, the kids can do it.