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Common Skills Competency Report

In December 2016, the four public school superintendents asked the Chamber to identify a set of career readiness standards that would help to define the skills required of high school graduate in our community.

The Chamber enlisted the help of the business community, and along with District leadership, held a half-day workshop facilitated by Kathy Zandona, a nationally recognized education consultant working for the Lumina Foundation and the Association of Chamber Executives, to identify two goals.

1. To define the entry level job skills and competencies required by the region’s high demand industry sectors.

2. To incorporate techniques for students to learn these skills while in school and develop “the ideal high school student” – ready and eager to work, willing to learn and with a positive attitude.

Representatives from several industries were brought together for professionally facilitated sessions in each of the following areas:

  • BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION
  • CULINARY AND HOSPITALITY
  • HEALTHCARE
  • ADVANCED MANUFACTURING
  • IT, COMPUTER SCIENCE AND CYBER
  • TRANSPORTATION AND LOGISTICS

The discussions focused on actually defining what a particular skill looks like in an entry level position in the related job market. As a result, specific skills were identified as top priorities and those that were repeated across industries became obvious as “common skill competencies.”

What now?

The Chamber is working alongside each school district to link education and career readiness, through the development of needed skills, in order to ensure all high school graduates are prepared for career and college upon graduation.

The Chamber will also help inform area businesses on how our public schools are already working to ensure graduates have the skills they need and the specifics of how they are achieving that goal.

The districts and Chamber are also discussing the most effective ways to communicate skill needs with students, parents and teachers.