Hudson Valley News
1:57 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

NYS and IBM Want to Prep Students for High-Skills Jobs

Credit Chris Dag, flickr

Governor Andrew Cuomo and IBM officials recently announced a public-private partnership they say will prepare New York students for high-skills jobs. The idea is based on a school in Brooklyn, highlighted by President Obama in his State of the Union speech.

The idea, say both the Governor and IBM officials, is to provide students with skills for careers in STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, while, at the same time, advancing regional economic development in New York.

That’s Stanley Litow, vice president for Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs at IBM, in Westchester’s Armonk. He says to meet the crisis, a new educational model is needed, as in the one modeled after P-Tech -Pathways in Technology Early College High School, in Brooklyn, which is in its second year. And since P-Tech, he says several similar programs have opened in Chicago. It’s a grade 9 through 14 program that combines high school, early college, and career training. Here’s Litow.

Edward Mehrhof is the superintendent of schools for Monroe-Woodbury Central School District, the second-largest school district in Orange County.

President Barack Obama last month referred to P-Tech in his State of the Union address.

The president then issued the following challenge.

And just how a particular school district or high school could play host to this type of program, IBM’s Litow says:

One of New York’s 10 economic-development regions is the Mid-Hudson Valley, where Monroe-Woodbury School District is. Asked whether the school district would compete for this program, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Elsie Rodriguez, along with Superintendent Mehrhof, reply:

As for funding, Governor Cuomo proposed in his executive budget a $4 million increase for the Early College High School program. Here’s IBM’s Litow with more about the funding for the program.

Superintendent Mehrhof says the program is a beneficial combination of education, career training, and economic development.

Assistant Superintendent Elsie Rodriguez emphasizes that mentoring will be critical to the program’s success.

IBM’s Stanley Litow says mentoring is part of the program, in addition to a certain curriculum and internships. He says depending upon the leadership in New York, and interest in the program, if school districts were to submit proposals by later in the spring, it is possible P-Tech type schools could be up and running by September of 2014.

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