Washington Roundtable president Stave Mullin writes in a Seattle Times op-ed,
A survey of Washington Roundtable member companies shows a universal preference to hire Washington kids for Washington jobs. We have no doubt other employers feel similarly.
The challenge is this: Just 31 percent of the students who attend a public high school in our state go on to attain a postsecondary credential by age 26. Less than a third are prepared for the jobs of the future. That’s not good enough.
Mullin reviews the recent study by the Washington Roundtable and Boston Consulting Group we first reported on here. He points out that employers are committed to improving the opportunities for Washington students.
The Washington Roundtable has set an ambitious goal: By 2030, 70 percent of Washington students will earn a postsecondary credential by the age of 26.
Here’s what must be done:
We can meet the goal and enhance the lifetime prospects of young Washingtonians by adopting a “cradle to career” approach to education. Efforts should focus in four areas:
• Improve school-readiness, emphasizing services for low-income children and traditionally underserved populations.
• Improve the performance of the K-12 system to ensure more students graduate career- and college-ready.
• Increase participation of Washington students in postsecondary education, focusing on high-demand fields.
• Help students, beginning in elementary schools, understand career opportunities. Inspire them to think about their futures and develop the necessary skills to attain their goals.
Read the whole thing. Few policy initiatives will enhance the prospects for Washington’s youth as much as improving postsecondary attainment so that Washington kids are equipped for Washington jobs.