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Focusing on Youth is Key to Workforce Development

For the past several weeks, we’ve looked at summer programming initiatives that support the first of United Way of Delaware’s four key focus areas: Early Education Success. Today, we’re going to graduate to the second pillar, Career and College Success.

That takes us back to school. Schools are designed to provide meaningful education that will prepare kids to build the life they desire. Whether students choose a career or higher education, they need a solid education footing as they begin their next phase. But only about half of Delaware’s high school students are performing at grade level in English and only one in three are proficient in Math.

We are proud to work with the school districts in their ceaseless efforts to provide a continuum of supports and services to help students excel. To complement that work, Stand By Me NexGen is a course that helps students imagine their futures and identify ways to get there, and builds financial literacy in teens. We’ll tell you more about NexGen in an article below.

Focusing on youth is key to workforce development. Employers say that candidates aren’t prepared for the work; colleges say that incoming students need remediation on skills they should have learned in high school. Well-paying jobs in high-growth industries such as healthcare, information technology and engineering are demanding ever-higher skill levels.

Meeting the needs of tomorrow’s workplace starts today — in summer programs, in schools, in equitable workplaces and in our hearts.

Raina Allen - Director, Delaware Racial Justice Collaborative

Michelle A. Taylor, Ed.D.
President and CEO, United Way of Delaware