Skills Gap: Career Pathway Model Creates Work-Ready Graduates

SUNBURY – Closing the skills gap . . . With modern manufacturing jobs requiring highly-technical skills, one area educator hopes to provide a blueprint for preparing tomorrow’s local labor force. Harry Mathias, who adapted the Career Pathway Model in Central Columbia School District during his tenure as superintendent.

“In today’s manufacturing, these are highly technical, high-skill occupations. Workers need to understand technology, they need to be able to think through problems, and all of that. This manufacturing sector is strong, but it has to be strong based on the quality of the employee.”

Mathias recently joined WKOK’s On The Mark to detail the model, which takes into account what local employers need from their workers and how to lead students down a pathway that trains them to succeed in those fields.

“They were given an advisor, and from ninth grade through their senior year, they would align their coursework based on that – what does this mean for me, what is the possible career path, what post-secondary training do I need?” he said.

Mathias says workforce development in elementary, middle and high school leads to savings of thousands of dollars in wasted college tuition, as a large percentage of students change their major or lose transfer credits when they’re unsure of a career path. You can hear his interview on WKOK’s On The Mark on the WKOK Podcast Page.

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