The workforce is always changing, and training and post-secondary education are essential to grow the economy. Training creates a career pipeline for our youth, as employers need and are looking for qualified skilled trades workers or individuals willing to get the necessary education to fill the positions.
And career and technical training is needed now more than ever. By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the economy will require post-secondary education and training beyond high school, according to the Center on Education and the Workforce out of Georgetown University. In addition, there will be 24 million openings from newly created jobs, and 31 million openings due to baby boomer retirements.
In the past, technical schools or career centers focused on training students to enter the workforce right out of high school in the field they trained in. Many will begin in an entry level position after high school graduation. But as more and more jobs require additional training beyond a high school degree, we need to start preparing students to have the mindset that they will continuously need to develop their skills, and will need education or training beyond high school.
Fortunately for students in Greater Lansing, there are programs available to help high schoolers prepare for a career and post-secondary education beyond high school. For example, Early/Middle College helps students as young as ninth-grade enroll in a five-year high school program.
At the end of the program (which incorporates Michigan Merit Curriculum post-secondary requirements), students will not only have a high school diploma. They will also have an occupational specific certificate, an occupational associate degree or up to 60 credits toward a bachelor’s degree. Early/Middle College programs are free for students thanks to help from state aid.
Here in Greater Lansing, students are able to enroll in the following programs:
– Formerly the Capital Area Career Center, the Wilson Talent Center (WTC) in Ingham Intermediate School District gives students the opportunity to earn high school credit, college credit and both state and national certifications. Students learn directly from certified instructors, and 80 percent of students who participated in career and technical educational programs plan to continue their education beyond high school, including apprenticeships, advanced industry certifications, an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree.
– Clinton County Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) and Eaton Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) also have CTE programs to help advance student education. Eaton RESA has a relationship with Lansing Community College and Davenport University to provide instruction to students, while Clinton RESA has technical education programs located in local schools.
– Lansing Community College, Davenport University and Ferris State University are all post-secondary partners of the CTE Early/Middle College program. For more information about the early middle program, contact your local school district to discuss enrollment.
Edythe Hatter-Williams is the CEO of Capital Area Michigan Works! Visit www.camw.org to connect with the Capital Area Michigan Works! team for assistance with career exploration, refining your resume and more. Capital Area Michigan Works! is a proud partner of the American Job Center Network, offering services in Ingham, Clinton and Eaton counties at our Lansing, St. Johns and Charlotte American Job Centers.