P-16 21st Century Workforce Pipeline

p-16 21st century workforce pipeline

You may think of the Pipeline in four sections: (P-5), (6-8,) (9-12), (13-16). Our research indicates that many students finish the 8th grade and go into high school with no clear career direction, no detailed plan for achieving their career goals, and little idea of where they could be employed in their local rural community. The result is that only 17 out of 100 students in Tennessee achieve a post-secondary degree and over 90% of rural students who do achieve a post-secondary degree do not remain in their rural communities. This ultimately creates an unsustainable rural economy.

We are currently partnering with rural west TN school systems on piloting innovative and replicable models for improving the P-16 educational Pipeline in regard to career and workforce alignment. Specifically, our pilots are focused on testing methods to assess student skills, goals, and interests by 6th grade, expose them to career choices by 7th grade, and have them choose a career or field path by 8th grade. By doing so, each student will know exactly which courses to pursue in high school in order to meet the requirements for post-secondary education, and have new ideas and exposure to where they could link into the local economy with their career choice.

In addition, we want to give students the tools and skills they need to excel in the 21st Century and the online world. These skills will be developed in P-12 via JTG/CRC certification, self-study online training, mentoring with tech professionals and logical extensions into regional higher education. This pipeline will be “Build To Order” and based on current global and local industry requirements for tech occupations.

We intend to create replicable models of a sustainable pipeline of P-12 workforce development and job creation that can “Build to Order” technology-savvy young people who can be hired online remotely, from their rural communities, or with local companies who locate for specific industry focuses. These graduates will also be able to fill the numerous needs in west Tennessee for IT-related skills and become a catalyst for entrepreneurial technology-based, small business creation.