Teachers around the state are putting their heads down and leaning in, delving into the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. These standards have been accepted and will be implemented incrementally beginning this year by 46 states, leveling the resources and expectations for education around the country. Additionally, we are focusing intentionally on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math skills in the classroom (check out our STEM resources online) to develop a ready workforce.
STEM education and CCGPS are great and hold a lot of promise for creating well-rounded critical-thinkers, but all of this extra push comes a little late for students in 11th and 12th grades. Over the last few months, reports on the increased cost for college have been abundant in the news.
Apprenticeships offer a not-common-enough key to education and job skills training. A common practice in Europe, apprenticeships fizzled out in America as blue-collar work became stigmatized. However, difficult economies make apprenticeships a much more attractive option and companies like Siemens are bringing it back. New high school graduates will work at the plant in Charlotte, NC for four years, learning numerous skills and working directly with a mentor. At the end of 4 years, they will have an associates degree, a journeyman’s certificate in machining, and a guaranteed job making $44,000 a year (which, for the record, is more than twice what I made in my first job after college).
While I don’t know that they are being talked about commonly, apprenticeships are not as rare as you might think. A simple search on Indeed.com revealed several around the state of Georgia.