Jobs-focused program inspires Delawares to work


From college years to post-secondary education and professional credentialing, Delaware’s curriculum is now more career-focused than ever — and it’s all helping to create a better-prepared workforce and economy. stronger.

According to Luke Rhine, associate secretary of workforce support at the Delaware Department of Education, college- and career-ready programs in the middle years, as well as a middle-school curriculum centered on the state’s Delaware Pathways strategy, prepare tomorrow’s workers to choose and prepare to thrive in careers. Students have the flexibility to determine the type of post-secondary path that is right for them – both in terms of the type of career they hope to pursue and whether a two- or four-year degree or credential program is the right decision.

“Young people are translating their skills into data science,” said Rhine, who is amazed by what students are doing with their ability to code or automate or use drones to collect data for agriculture or construction. “They wonder what they want to become and what steps they need to take to get there.”

Career paths lead to various opportunities

While people often think of vocational and technical training in terms of business skills or personal services such as carpentry or cosmetology, the state now supports an even more diverse range of industries and occupations from the point of college and career view. Today, more than 70 percent of Delaware high school students are enrolled in one of the state’s 12 career paths, which range from agri-science to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.

Delaware is also seeing a more than 50% increase in the number of students demonstrating their college and career readiness by taking advanced placement college courses, or choosing to “upskill” through college programs. apprenticeships for young people.

“These are young people who have college credits, who have degrees, who have work experience in the industry they want to grow in,” Rhine said. “Their experiences help shape who they are and accelerate their trajectory and their network. It’s a great way to help meet the future needs of Delaware employers at scale and statewide. »

Career paths are also aimed at adult workers

Delaware’s strategy for preparing tomorrow’s workforce doesn’t end with high school graduation. The adult career path includes post-secondary education, support from the state registered apprenticeship system, and an increased focus on pursuing advanced degrees to help adults transition into teaching as quickly as possible superior to seek gainful employment.

“The last 18 months have made adults wonder if they’re on the right path, if they have the relationship with their employer that they want,” Rhine said. “I think you’re going to see an increase in experiential or residency-type learning models in higher education, because people want to know what’s on the other end of that training program,” a- he declared.

Delaware: Where Education and Employers Meet

Delaware’s strategy for training established workers and the next generation relies on close collaboration between the Department of Education, the state’s three technical school districts, and the Delaware Technical Community College. Groups such as Associated Builders and Contractors, Delaware Contractors Association, Delaware Restaurant Association, and Tech Impact are key in informing decisions about Delaware’s training program and platform. Wilmington University also plays a key role in its accreditation and development programs.

“All of our initiatives are fundamentally employer-driven, and we’re working with K-12 and post-secondary institutions to think differently about how we structure relationships,” Rhine said. “It helps us recruit people who see themselves in Delaware and as part of our community.”

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