As the state draws in new industries, the Mississippi Economic Council wants to see those jobs filled by some of our own.
The group knows the reality. College isn't the next step for every high school senior.
"For some reason we've gotten away from recognizing career education. We've got to do it. It's the future of Mississippi," said Blake Wilson, MEC's President and CEO.
At MEC's Capital Day, they announced the kick-off of the Mississippi Scholars Tech Master program. It will target students that want to take a career path as craftspeople, like welders or electricians. Ingalls Shipbuilding and others are on board. If a high school grad finishes the program-, it'll work in their favor.
Edenzon says, "We're gonna give them preference. We're going to put a little red star on their file so that when it gets to the employment manager, they're going to see that they've been through this program and that to us means that we know what we're getting."
A curriculum for the program has already been crafted. It will be tested in seven pilot counties across the state. And the group believes there's a set of standards already putting kids on the right track for new jobs.
"We cannot turn away from Common Core implementation in Mississippi," announced Wilson to the crowd of around 1,400.
The Economic Council's board has made Common Core a priority for this session. They say it will ultimately impact more than the education system.
Wilson said, "If Mississippi doesn't do this, it will set us behind in economic development.it will take an arrow out of our quiver. It's just not sensible. I mean, we need to be with the rest of the game."
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