In Delaware, students will soon be able to prepare for new careers and gain experience through a planned hub before they graduate high school. 10 companies have pledged their support through money, and opportunities for job experience and summer internships.
Success Plans and Roads to Careers is an effort by state agencies, schools and community groups to create an online network with two main goals.
First, organizers hope to create “student success plans,” or road maps students can use to figure out what classes, internships and other things they need to do to be competitive in applying for the job they want.
Second, they hope to connect students with companies in their field offering internships, job shadowing, mentors, summer employment and other opportunities.
Gov. Jack Markell announced Monday that a group of corporate heavyweights were joining SPaRC, including: Delmarva Power; Chase Bank; AstraZeneca; First State Manufacturing; DuPont; Dow Chemical; Computer Aid Inc.; PSEG Nuclear; Bank of America; and Sallie Mae Fund.
Each company will pitch in $3,000 to help pay for the software at the heart of the program. They also have committed to providing mentors, internships and other opportunities once the system is up and running.
By May, state education officials plan to have SPaRC active in 5 to 7 schools. By September, organizers expect to have 75 employers and 150 mentors in the system.
By the end of the year, organizers hope to have 1,750 students participating and 37 businesses offering internships and other opportunities.
Markell announced the companies’ participation at a meeting of state business leaders discussing what the state’s education system needs to do to meet a changing global job market. He called for more businesses to join the program, saying cooperation between employers and schools is essential as job demands become more specialized.
“I’m not asking this out of charity. This isn’t about altruism,” Markell said. “This is about your business staying competitive in the future.”
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