“Journey To Jobs”


>>>ACCORDING TO THE U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR, THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN THE UNITED STATES HAS RECENTLY HIT HISTORICALLY LOW LEVELS. WITH THAT ANOTHER BOOM. THERE ARE ROUGHLY 7.2 MILLION JOBS AVAILABLE. BUT WITH SO MANY JOB OPENINGS, HOW EXACTLY ARE EMPLOYERS FINDING SKILLFUL WORKERS TO FILL THESE POSITIONS? AS PART OF THE “AMERICAN GRADUATE” GETTING TO WORK INITIATIVE, PBS NEWS HOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR HARI SREENIVASAN SHRINES A LIGHT ON THE INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS CONNECTING JOB SEEKERS TO EMPLOYMENT IN A NEW ONE-HOUR SPECIAL TITLED “JOURNEY TO JOBS.” LET’S TAKE A LOOK.>>UNEMPLOYMENT IS AT HISTORIC LOWS. YET IN MANY INDUSTRIES THERE’S A GROWING DISPARITY BETWEEN OPEN POSITION AND QUALIFIED WORKERS TO FILL THEM. I’M HARI SREENIVASAN. JOIN US FOR A LOOK AT HOW ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE BRIDGING THE SKILLS GAP CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR JOB SEEKERS AND BUILDING THE WORKFORCE OF THE FUTURE. JOURNEY TO JOBS.>>AND JOINING ME IS THE SUPERINTENDENT OF BALDWIN SCHOOL DISTRICT, DR. SHERRY. SHE HAS FACILITATED A SIMILAR PROGRAM ON LONG ISLAND THAT’S PREPARING STUDENTS FOR LIFE AFTER GRADUATION. WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.>>THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.>>ALL RIGHT. SO FIRST OFF, LET’S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE PROGRAM THAT YOU ARE RUNNING FOR YOUR STUDENTS BECAUSE THIS SOUNDS REALLY UNIQUE FOR A PUBLIC SCHOOL.>>SO WE REALLY BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE TO DEVELOP PROGRAMS AROUND OUR STUDENTS. AND WE TAKE VERY SERIOUSLY THE NEED TO PREPARE THEM FOR COLLEGE AND FOR WORK BEYOND COLLEGE. IN OUR HIGH SCHOOL IN PARTICULAR, WE HAVE A FULL BLOWN ACADEMY PROGRAM THAT GIVES OUR STUDENTS THE EXPERIENCES WE THINK THEY NEED TO BE ABLE TO MAKE A DECISION ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES POST HIGH SCHOOL. SO WE ARE WORKING REALLY DILL GENTLY AT DEVELOPING THOSE ACADEMIES BASED ON THE FUTURE OF WORK.>>OF COURSE, NOW CAN YOU GIVE US SOME SPECIFIC EXAMPLES OF SOME OF THE OPTIONS THE STUDENTS HAVE? BECAUSE THIS IS A PRETTY BROAD RANGE. THESE KIDS ARE ABLE TO GET THEIR HANDS IN AND LEARN FROM DOING, NOT JUST FROM SITTING IN A CLASSROOM AND BEING TAUGHT.>>CURRENTLY WE HAVE SIX ACADEMIES. AND EVERY ACADEMY IS — WE LIKE TO SAY THAT IT’S TRIANGULATED. SO WE HAVE RIGOROUS COURSE WORK, COLLEGE LEVEL COURSE WORK IN EACH ACADEMY. WE HAVE EXPERIENCES OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL DAY IN THE FORM OF SHADOW DAYS AND INTERNSHIPS. AND WE HAVE COMPETITIONS IN EVERY ACADEMY THAT ALLOWS OUR STUDENTS TO APPLY THE SKILLS THEY ARE LEARNING IN THEIR ACADEMY CLASSES. ONE PARTICULAR EXAMPLE WE HAVE A MEDICAL ACADEMY AND OUR STUDENTS TAKE COURSES LIKE RADIOOLOGY, EMT CLASSES WHERE THEY ARE REALLY LEARNING THE SKILLS TO BE ANYTHING IN THE MEDICAL PROFESSION. THEY SPEND A LOT OF TIME OUTSIDE SCHOOL IN OUR PARTNERS, NORTHWELL HEALTH, MERCY HOSPITAL, FOR EXAMPLE, AND THEN THEY PARTICIPATE IN SPARK CHALLENGES THAT APPLY THE SKILLS THAT THEY ARE LEARNING IN EVERYDAY EXPERIENCES.>>AND SO IN ADDITION TO THE MEDICAL ACADEMY, I ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE A BUSINESS ACADEMY AND THAT SOME OF THE KIDS HAVE BECOME CEOs OF THEIR OWN SMALL BUSINESSES.>>SO WE HAVE ONE PARTICULAR COURSE IN OUR BUSINESS ACADEMY THAT’S CALLED VIRTUAL ENTERPRISE. IN THAT COURSE, OUR KIDS ARE ACTUALLY DESIGNING AND DEVELOPING THEIR — A FULL-BLOWN BUSINESS. THE KIDS ARE CEOs. THEY ARE CFOs. THEY HAVE MARKETING DEPARTMENTS. THEY DEVELOP EVERYTHING IN THE BUSINESS THAT A REGULAR BUSINESS WOULD HAVE, INCLUDING MARKETING MATERIALS, A WEBSITE, PROMO MATERIALS, A BUSINESS PLAN. THE TRUTH IS, THOSE BUSINESSES ARE READY TO GO. AND ALL WE REALLY NEED IS THE FORUM TO OPEN THOSE BUSINESS. TO BE HONEST, COLLEGE GETS IN THE WAY OF IT BECAUSE OUR KID GOES ON TO COLLEGE, OTHERWISE THEY’D HAVE BUSINESSES THEY COULD START TOMORROW.>>I WANT TO MAKE A CLARIFICATION FOREVER PEOPLE WHO MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH THE LONG ISLAND COMMUNITY. WHAT KIND OF A DISTRICT IS BALDWIN BECAUSE I THINK WHEN PEOPLE HEAR SOME OF THESE ELITE PROGRAMS YOU’RE OFFERING THEY’RE GOING TO ASSUME, WELL, THAT MUST BE AN ELITE DISTRICT. TELL ME ABOUT THE MAKEUP OF YOUR STUDENTS?>>I’LL SAY WE’RE ELITE IN TERMS OF PERSONALITY. THE KIDS IN MY SCHOOL DISTRICT ARE THE NICEST, MOST RESPECTFUL, WONDERFUL KIDS YOU’VE EVER MET. BUT IN TERMS OF THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF OUR DISTRICT, WE’RE VERY MUCH A MIDDLE CLASS COMMUNITY. WE ARE ABOUT 47% AFRICAN-AMERICAN. 30% HISPANIC. 14% WHITE. ABOUT 4% OTHER AND 4% ASIAN. SO WE REALLY DO REPRESENT THE WORLD AT LARGE.>>AND SO OFFERING THESE DIFFERENT ACADEMIES TO THE STUDENTS, I’M WONDERING, HOW DOES THAT SHAPE OR CHANGE PERHAPS WOULD BE THE WORD, THEIR PERCEPTION OF WHAT IT IS THEY’RE CAPABLE OF AND PERHAPS GIVE THEM CLARITY ON WHAT IT IS THEY WANT TO DO IN THE WORLD?>>WHAT WE FIND AFTER SPEAKING WITH OUR STUDENTS IS THAT THEY LEARN AS MUCH ABOUT WHAT THEY DON’T WANT TO DO WHEN THEY GRADUATE –>>THAT’S VERY IMPORTANT.>>AS THEY LEARN — YES, BELIEVE ME. AS A MOM OF A DAUGHTER WHO THOUGHT SHE WAS GOING INTO MEDICINE WHEN SHE CHANGED HER MIND HALFWAY INTO HER UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM, I CERTAINLY APPRECIATE BEING ABLE TO MAKE SOME OF THOSE DECISIONS BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY GO ON TO COLLEGE. BUT WE GIVE OUR STUDENTS EXPERIENCES IN PRE-ACADEMY STARTING IN GRADE EIGHT BECAUSE WE FOUND IF THEY GET A CHANCE TO EXPLORE DIFFERENT ACADEMIES IN GRADE EIGHT, BY THE TIME THEY GET TO HIGH SCHOOL AND GRADE NINE, THEY HAVE A GOOD UNDERSTANDING, PARTICULARLY OF WHAT THEY DON’T WANT TO STUDY. BUT THEY HAVE A MUCH MORE NARROWED FOCUS ON WHAT THEY BELIEVE THEIR PATH IS GOING TO BE.>>ALL RIGHT. WELL, I THINK THAT’S AN EXCELLENT POINT TO LEAVE IT ON. SOUNDS LIKE AMAZING WORK YOU GUYS ARE DOING OUT THERE. WE’D LOVE TO COME AND SEE MORE. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.>>THANK YOU.>>FOR MORE INFORMATION ON JOURNEY TO JOBS, PLEASE VISIT US
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