The panelists focused on an ICW report that gave mixed results to Washington’s postsecondary education system. Earl Hale, the former executive director of the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges, led the discussion.
“Businesses have the power to help with this,” said Gardner. “Schools need to work with businesses and tap this resource in order have success among students.”
Columbia Basin College’s Rich Cummins said we need to figure out how to get more students further and faster to certificates and degrees so they can enter the workforce and be productive. Students don’t necessarily have to be focusing on four-year degrees either. Getting an associate’s degree or going to a trade school might be a better path for some students. This is why it’s so important for students early on in their academic career to find out what their passion is for and what it takes to achieve it.
AWB president Don Brunell closed the panel talking about how successful programs such as Business Week can really make a difference for students.“Workforce training is very important and it starts with these key business partnerships,” said Brunell. “Businesses need to focus their efforts on education to help produce a viable workforce.”