News and Updates
Pathways to Prosperity
On June 24, 2014, the Northeast Missouri Development Partnership hosted a Pathways to Prosperity Workforce Development Symposium at Hannibal LaGrange University in Hannibal. Those who attended included superintendents, business leaders, economic developers, legislators and others interested in what is deemed as one of the highest economic priorities over the next decade: a ready workforce.
Keynote speakers at the event included Robert Schwartz, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Amy Loyd, Executive Director of Jobs for the Future. The symposium also included a panel discussion with business and industry leaders as well as concurrent breakout sessions focusing on how to ensure student's have the skills and credentials needed for success in today's increasingly demanding economy.
Intern program leads to part-time jobs for two Missouri students
As summer comes to a close, so do two internships at the IBM Delivery Center in Columbia, Mo., in partnership with the Department’s Pathways to Prosperity initiative. Rachel Million, Centralia, and Andrew Krall, Columbia, spent eight weeks working with a team that virtually builds servers for clients. The two high school juniors experienced many aspects of the IBM culture, from team meetings to project management to a corporate character workshop where they learned more about what it means to be an “IBMer.”
Based on their excellent performance during their internships, IBM has offered Rachel and Andrew part-time positions throughout their senior year. The two will be able to work after school or on weekends to fit the jobs into their class schedules.
“This is just the sort of opportunity students can find in the Pathways to Prosperity program,” said Kristie Davis, director of Pathways to Prosperity for the Department. “Education is partnering with business to give high school students an opportunity to explore careers they might be interested in pursuing after graduation, and the types of post-high school education they will need in order to be successful in those careers.”
Rachel and Andrew were selected for the paid internships from a field of 14 applicants based on their job interviews, essays and academic achievement. The interns followed the same application and interview process as any job candidate with IBM.
“IBM provides training for interns in jobs that are relevant today,” said Peter Ferraro, human resources leader at the IBM Delivery Center in Columbia. “We want these students to get a view of the world outside their classroom.”
Rachel and Andrew, along with representatives from Pattonville School District, gave a presentation during the Administrators Conference held in late July, sharing their experiences with school district leaders from across the state.
To celebrate completion of the internships, their parents, superintendents, guidance counselors and Department representatives joined Rachel and Andrew earlier this month for a reception in their honor.
St. Louis Pathways for Teachers Summer Institute
“Bringing the Workplace to the Classroom --
Changing Instruction and Classroom Culture”
Students in the Ferguson Florissant, Pattonville, and St. Louis Public School Districts need to get ready for new learning opportunities in the classroom during the 2014-2015 school year! Your teachers are bringing work based learning experiences to your classroom. During the Pathways for Teachers Summer Institute, teachers and counselors created classroom projects based on their job shadowing experiences in the work place.
Pathways for Teachers is a pilot program of professional development for three Pathways to Prosperity school districts in the St. Louis area designed to improve the career readiness of local high school students to meet the demands of the labor market. The project was funded by Boeing through a partnership with Education Plus (formerly Cooperating School Districts). Pathways to Prosperity is an initiative of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that links high schools and post-secondary programs with businesses in order to prepare students to be career ready and to provide a skilled workforce to meet the needs of the labor market. The high demand career pathways in Missouri and the nation are Advanced Manufacturing, Health Science, and Information Technology.
Pathways for Teachers kicked off in January this year with 70 teachers, counselors, and administrators spending two days visiting 3 – 5 business sites based on the Pathway they are focused on. During the 2014 Summer Institute, the participants spent a full day job shadowing a business partner in one of the business sites previously visited. The Advanced Manufacturing pathway teams went to Ameren, Boeing, Component Bar Inc., Fred Weber, iCon Mechanical, and Metropolitan Sewer District. The Health Science pathway teams had the opportunity to visit BJC – Healthcare, SSM – Healthcare, St. Louis University School of Medicine, and Washington University School of Medicine. The Information Technology pathway teams visited Alexander Open Systems, Boeing’s IT Department, Cisco, Education Plus, Maritz, and Talisen Technologies.
These 16 business partners did a fantastic job of showing educators how academic skills in the areas of mathematics, English Language Arts, and science are used on a daily basis. They informed the pathway teams about the “soft skills” that every employee needs to be successful. Collaboration and communication skills were emphasized by every business partner. Educators learned about the various career opportunities available in each organization as well as the post-secondary training needed. Many educators were surprised to hear that a four-year degree is not required for many high paying careers. Educators developed relationships with the business partners and will be using them as career speakers, mentors for student projects, student job shadowing, and student internships.
During the 2014 Summer Institute, forty teachers, counselors, and administrators learned how to develop projects and units that connect learning with real-world skills and had time to collaborate in teams to develop projects and units for their classes. Participants also learned how to align the Missouri Learning Standards to their projects. Facilitators for the institute included Melia Franklin, DESE English Language Arts Director; Jeremy Ellis, DESE Mathematics Director; Theresa Yeager, Mathematics Specialist Columbia Career Center; Martha Bogart, Program Coordinator Education Plus, and Gail Stewart, St. Louis Director Pathways to Prosperity.
Next steps for Pathways for Teachers participants include sharing their learning with their colleagues during their professional learning community, department and faculty meetings. A day during late fall will be scheduled for the participants to meet as a group to share outcomes of their projects and to interact and network with business partners to extend their learning about the needs of the work place. Participants will be very intentional about developing and providing work based learning experiences for their students through classroom instruction, career speakers, project mentoring, job shadowing experiences, and internships for their students.
Gail Stewart, St. Louis Director for Pathways to Prosperity, says “Pathways for Teachers has expanded our network of business and industry partners who very much care about supporting teachers and students to prepare a highly skilled workforce for the St. Louis region and for Missouri. We will build on this momentum as Pathways to Prosperity expands and grows in other districts and connects with additional business and industry partners.”
Using Pathways to Prosperity to "Get it right for students"
Pattonville School District is using the Innovation High School Grant received in February of 2013 from the Department of Economic Development to make a difference in the lives of its students. The grant was awarded in conjunction with their implementation of Pathways to Prosperity, an initiative of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and is focused on providing high school students opportunities to earn college credit and industry recognized certifications in high-demand job fields while still in high school. As Pattonville focuses on three high-demand career pathways in Advanced Manufacturing, Health/Medical, and Information Technology, students can earn up to 23 credit hours towards a post-secondary degree and may earn industry recognized certificates.
HEALTH SCIENCE PATHWAY – PHARMACY TECHNICIAN PROGRAM
Thinking outside the box and looking for ways to expand their health science pathway, Pattonville administrators contracted with MK Education to offer a Pharmacy Technician program for 18 seniors. MK Education provided the curriculum and the instructor, retired pharmacist Dr. Larry Frey, as well as secured summer internship sites for the students. At the end of the summer internship, students who pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam can apply for pharmacy technician jobs. The Pharmacy Technician program has had a major impact on the post-secondary decisions for many of the students.
Prior to enrolling in the Pharmacy Technician program, graduating senior Mayte Santos was not sure what career she wanted to pursue. The program introduced her to the field of pharmacy, and she is now very passionate about preparing for a career in pharmacy. While working as a pharmacy technician, she will pursue a degree in pre-pharmacy at Fontbonne University in the fall and will continue on to the School of Pharmacy at Southern Illinois University– Edwardsville. Having the opportunity to complete the Pharmacy Technician program during high school has helped Mayte see and understand the career opportunities available to her.
Khoa Trieu is taking a different path after completing the Pharmacy Technician program. Khoa’s family encouraged him to pursue a career in pharmacy, and he even applied to the St. Louis School of Pharmacy. However, the program helped him to understand that a career in pharmacy is not for him. He plans to major in Cyber Security at Fontbonne University in the fall. Once he completes his pharmacy tech internship and passes the PTCB exam, he can apply for a job as a pharmacy tech at an area pharmacy to help pay for his college tuition.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PATHWAY – iLearn Help Center
When the Pattonville School District leadership looked at implementing and enhancing an Information Technology pathway, they saw an opportunity to train students for a career in information technology and benefit the entire student body. There was a need for a computer help center to support the one-to-one technology plan for the student body. Graduating senior Elizabeth Fincher petitioned the Board of Education two years ago to approve a student run “iLearn Help Center.” The approved “iLearn Help Center” has completed its second year and will be expanding next school year with the addition of “iLearn Help Desk 3” and “iLearn Help Desk 4.”
Instructor Travis Harder, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Math and a Master’s degree in Education Technology, provides guidance and “just in time training” for the 3 – 6 students enrolled in the “iLearn Help Center” each period. The help center students triage computer hardware issues, resolve connectivity problems, monitor software updates, and provide software application expertise for members of the student body who have problems with their district issued computer. In addition, when teachers and staff submit a Help Desk Ticket, help center students are dispatched to solve the problem after Mr. Harder has counseled with the student about the issue. Mr. Harder uses Generation Yes Curriculum in training the help desk students. Students receive a grade and complete several Technology Assisted Projects (TAPS) throughout the school year.
Working in the “iLearn Help Center” has helped many students make a definite choice to pursue a career in Information Technology. Twin brothers Caleb and Jacob Owen who are seniors will attend Ranken Tech in the fall majoring in information technology. They said the help desk has given them good experience in solving computer issues and is the best part of their day. Graduating senior Robert Fowler has enrolled in the Navy where he will train for information technology. Elizabeth Fincher will enroll in Forest Park Community College’s Culinary program, and Hayley Cornish will attend Meramec Community College and start a major in English. Even though Elizabeth and Hayley are not continuing on with a career in information technology, both felt the experiences of the help center has helped them to be better problem solvers, develop leadership skills, improve their people skills, and have a solid foundation to work with computers in whatever setting they find themselves.
Tiffany Besse, Director of Secondary Education, describes these two unique programs as a melting pot of students made up of multiple races, nationalities, and ability levels that truly meet the needs of a wide range of students. Pattonville will continue to enhance the rigor of their pathways and seek opportunities for students to earn college credit and industry certifications.
Pathways to Prosperity
The Missouri Pathways for Prosperity Initiative is all about finding creative ways to meet the needs of students as they prepare for a career in a high demand, high wage pathway. When Ferguson Florissant School District started planning to implement the Advanced Manufacturing Pathway for their three high schools, they realized their welding equipment was inadequate to prepare students with the skills needed for a career in today’s world of advanced manufacturing. Jay Boleach, CTE Coordinator for Ferguson Florissant School District, approached Jim Hieger, Assistant Principal of North County Technical School, to see if there was a way to share resources to prepare the students enrolled in the Ferguson Florissant Advanced Manufacturing program. Jay and Jim soon arrived at a solution that was a “win, win” for both schools. David Goetz, Ferguson Florissant Advanced Manufacturing teacher, and Jim Sheppard, North County Tech Welding teacher, aligned their curriculum and developed a schedule for David’s students to travel to North County Tech on buses already going to North County Tech. Jim and Dave swapped students during the two-week sessions. Jim taught Dave’s students how to weld while Dave prepared Jim’s students for the OSHA 10 certification as well as the forklift certification.Sharing resources meant that the Ferguson Florissant Advanced Manufacturing students developed welding skills on up to date equipment and at the same time students from both schools earned two Industry Recognized Credentials -- OSHA 10 Certification and Forklift Certification.The Ferguson Florissant students recently showed some of their projects to Gail Stewart, St. Louis Regional Director for Pathways to Prosperity, and posed for a group picture.
From Vision to Reality
This fall students at Macon Co. R-I will have the opportunity to intern with On-Shore Outsourcing, an IT services company located just next door to the Macon Area Career and Technical Education Center. This is a vision come true for Superintendent Charles Stockton and On-Shore Founder Shane Mayes. Details for the program have been developed with guidance from Mr. Pete Claas, MACTE Director, with the heavy lifting done by Mr. Burdett Wilson, MACTE teacher and Travis Winger, Onshore. The two year IT program will be implemented in the fall of 2014-15.
The partnership between the school district and On-Shore is a direct result of Macon R-I’s involvement with Pathways to Prosperity. Last fall, Dr. Stockton along with representatives from DESE and other school districts in the state attended a conference in Boston to learn how the Boston Private Industry Council, working with Jobs for the Future, developed an extensive Internship program with the Boston Public Schools. What he gained from that experience led to conversations with the Macon County Economic Development Corporation and with On-Shore to develop this opportunity for students.
Dr. Stockton’s philosophy is to help all students be college and career ready. He does so by taking students’ current career interests, regardless of age, and helping students see how their academics relates to what they might do in the future. Dr. Stockton recognizes that career interests will change over time, but there are skill-sets embedded within the curriculum that can transfer to any career. By tying academics to student aspirations, students will be more motivated to learn and to achieve.
In this innovative program with On-Shore, students will enroll in Computer Programming in their Junior year and during their Senior year will be involved in an internship with On-Shore. If students do well and have an interest to continue, they will be guaranteed a well-paying job after high school graduation and On-Shore will pay for their college education through a partnership with Hannibal La Grange College.
On-Shore is an IT company that has a vision to revitalize rural American by bringing to rural committees good paying jobs that had gone overseas. Shane Mayes, the founder of the company and a Gulf War Veteran began with a $52,000 loan and has created a twelve million dollar business with over 200 employees. The partnership with Macon Co R-I will help create a pipeline for a well-educated and well-paid work force and keep young people in the community to raise their families. Dr. Stockton estimates that within the next 3-4 years the economic impact for Macon could be two to three million dollars.
Dr. Stockton is not stopping with On-Shore. He is contacting and working with other businesses in the community in order to create strong partnerships with the school district that will create even more opportunities for students to develop rewarding “Pathways to Prosperity”.
Macon R-I and On-Shore Outsourcing