On Wednesday July 29th I had the unique opportunity to participate in a panel discussion regarding Workforce Development. The event was presented by The Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Worthington. Joining me on the panel was Dawn Larzelere from the Governor’s Office Ohio of Workforce Transformation and Brad Mitchell from Battelle for Kids.
We discussed issues such as how can government leaders, educators and employers work together to create a unified workforce system to help employers find the skilled workers they need to succeed and grow? How can we ensure that workers access the skills training and resources they need to compete for in-demand jobs?
As educators we have a responsibility to prepare our students for life after high school. Discussions such as the one we are planning for Wednesday help us understand what employers are looking for so that Worthington’s students are up for the challenge!
Worthington’s business community greatly values our K-12 public education system. Much good work is being done to prepare our students for college and the workplace. We have high-quality teachers in Worthington and a learning system that graduates many students who are well-prepared for higher education and the workforce. Some statistics show that 80 percent of the jobs of the future do not yet exist. In a few short years according to Complete College America, 59 percent of Ohio’s jobs will require a postsecondary credential by 2020. Thirty-six percent of Ohio’s adults currently hold this qualification. Thus more can and should be done to prepare today’s students for the world of tomorrow. To that end, we continue to implement our rigorous standards-based learning models, that will improve upon what already is working and make sure our students graduate ready for a bright future.
Making sure our students truly are prepared for college and careers is one of the most important things we can do to build a stronger Ohio (and Worthington) economy. A top priority for business leaders is ensuring our system is giving our young boys and girls the educational foundation they need for future jobs that we do not yet even know about. That’s why companies like Honda, Worthington Industries and Abbott are joining in educational partnerships with Worthington Schools to address education and workforce needs.
Producing a high level of educated workers keeps businesses investing in our city, helps grow our local economy and benefits our community. Our cities long-term economic health, stability and ability to grow our economy depend on the preparedness of our future workforce and their ability to compete in today’s global workforce. The job market is more demanding today than ever before, and we owe it to our students to prepare them for what they will face when entering it.
– Trent Bowers, Superintendent