Governor Jay Inslee and his wife Trudy visited with school, business and community leaders to learn more about the Southwest Washington STEM Network, a transformative public-private initiative that brings K-12, higher education and business together to address Career Connected Learning. The SW Washington STEM Network model caught the attention of Governor Inslee as a successful approach to education reform. The Network focuses on providing students problem-based STEM learning through work experiences, mentoring and career connections in high demand fields.
STEM Network Director Ted Feller and SEH America’s Ben Bagherpour shared information about the education and training gap that currently exists in high demand jobs, leaving many local businesses without access to a qualified talent pool. The STEM Network’s success in the ESD 112 region continues to draw additional district members and participating businesses, Ports and higher education entities.
Only 33% of Students who started HS in 2011 are expected to obtain a post-secondary certification credential or degree, yet 81% of the new high growth good paying jobs will require one. The Network provides students college and career-related learning with mentors and coaches, rigorous STEM dual credit coursework and work-based learning experiences. The Governor said the Southwest Washington Stem Network model is one he’s interested in “bragging about” as he further shapes Washington’s Career-Connected Learning initiatives.
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