Last week in the Paris Beacon News, in an article entitled “Battle for Economic Development,” The executive director of Crossroads Workforce Investment Board, Jim McShane talked about the need for educational change in order to produce a workforce to replace the retiring babyboom generation. He mentioned increasing the days in the school year and giving students more direct contact with local business and industry for the purpose of exposing them to the “real” world of work. In his presentation to the Edgar County Board, he stated that almost all areas of employment now require an education beyond high school yet only 18% of today’s graduates complete at least a two year associates degree in a post secondary program.
I believe that his premise is right on, that we need to find a way to do a better job of connecting our students to the world of work and prepare our students for post secondary education. Tall order? Yes it is! Are we up to it? Let’s find out. We need to involve the entire Paris community it this conversation. We must find a way to engage our community in a meaningful dialogue about education, poverty, employment and civic improvement. Please respond if you have ideas or thoughts! Different ideas need to be heard and all avenues need to be explored!
Henry,G. (2007, October). Battle for economic development. Paris Beacon News,
October 11, 2007. http://www.parisbeacon.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4821&Itemid=142