The Road From Education to Employment - Cutting Down on the Curves
...A third of students change their majors at least once and more than half take longer than four years to get a bachelor’s degree according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Then, one in 12 students return to community college or technical school for more specific education. “That makes four-year universities and colleges a really expensive career exploration program,” said Amy Loyd, Vice President, Education and Employment Policy Organization at Jobs for the Future.
Young people can’t find jobs, yet employers can’t find people with the right entry level skills. How can we close this gap?
The Livingston County Chamber of Commerce Education to Employment Initiatives (E2E) under the direction of Angela Grouse, is creating a program that will give Livingston County students the information they need to become better informed about the extensive career options that exist locally.
Says Grouse, “Students begin self-limiting their career options as early as first grade using the jobs of their family, neighbors, and those they interact with as the framework for what they will be when they grow up. We want students to become aware of the wide array of options available to them given their skills, abilities, and interests.” Grouse was hired in 2019 and is now in the second year of introducing students to local employment opportunities. “Equally important is choosing the most efficient and cost-effective path into the career of choice. That may mean heading directly into the world or work, or enrolling in a certification program, a two-year Associate program, or a four-year Bachelor program,” according to Grouse.
In response to the one-on-one restrictions forced upon students and employers due to Covid 19 safety protocols, Grouse has focused on creating resource materials that students can review independently which are published on the GLOW With Your Hands Virtual Website. Grouse visited a variety of regional employers and curated a video library of professionals describing their job path to achieve it. Students can watch the videos and gain an understanding of what potential jobs entail.
E2E also offers a two-pronged direct service solution, meeting the needs of both students and employers. The first goal is to provide students with the ability to expand their career horizons, allowing them to consider careers that are best suited to their competencies and dispositions and then seek paths to employment that will provide the greatest return on their investment.
From an employer perspective the goal is to improve the workforce talent pipeline, build the readiness skills of the emerging workforce and retain talent which strengthens the fiber of our local communities. The best way to achieve this is through programming which directly connects employers to students to educate them on the realities of the world of work, showcase the great career possibilities in our area, strengthen students’ skills, and create a better understanding of the most effective and efficient path to employment.