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Innovation Challenge - Media Spotlight

Launching students into postsecondary and career pathways will support economic recovery (Wenatchee World)

January 1 | Wenatchee — Young people in the Wenatchee Valley are the future skilled trades, business and agricultural leaders, and health care workers of our community. Many rely on financial aid and scholarships, as well as academic advising and other resources to help them navigate their post-high school education. As the pandemic stretches on, these students — and the tens of thousands like them across Washington state — need expanded supports to get and stay on track toward earning a credential, such as a degree, apprenticeship or certificate. As the state Legislature begins the 2022 session, which will include decisions about spending federal COVID-19 relief aid and increased state revenues, Washington a has prime opportunity to provide essential support for students — and address a growing crisis that started long before the pandemic. The need is urgent. Keep reading.

Community solutions can fuel education success (Seattle Times)

December 30 | Seattle — A good education is a continuum, from birth to beyond high school and into college, apprenticeships and vocational education.Los Angeles Times columnist Karin Klein writes about the importance of nurturing in children a habit of reading for pleasure that will unlock untold pathways to success. Too many young people are missing out, distracted by social media and other digital activities. On the other end of that education continuum in Washington, Jeff Vincent wants to unlock pathways for Washington citizens into higher education, whether college or vocational, into well-paying careers. Keep reading.

Fund local solutions to nurturing a more educated Washington workforce (Seattle Times)

December 30 | Seattle — Washington consistently ranks as one of the most highly educated places in the country, but what those Top 10 lists commonly obscure is that the state imports a lot of that talent while failing to grow its own. For more than 15 years, enrollment in postsecondary education for recently graduated high school seniors has been stuck at 60% even as employers continue to demand a more educated workforce. The national average is closer to 70%.The attainment gap is also pronounced. The estimated rate earning a credential, whether a degree, apprenticeship or certificate, is 31% for Black students, 30% for Latinos and 18% for Native American and Indigenous students, according to the Partnership for Learning. Attainment for students from low-income backgrounds is also abysmal, at 26%. The need for a more educated workforce is only expected to grow, putting a living wage further and further away from those who fall short. Keep reading.