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Gov. Markell announces initiative to expand Pathways to Prosperity program

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Gov. Jack Markell visited Agilent Technologies this week to sign Executive Order 61, which creates a permanent steering committee to coordinate the continued expansion of Pathways to Prosperity, a statewide workforce development program that’s helping to ensure that Delaware high school students graduate prepared for their next steps, whether in college, other education and training programs, or the workplace.

The program provides students with classroom instruction and work-based learning experiences in a professional field, allowing them to earn certifications recognized by employers and credits towards a college degree.  Curriculums are developed in close collaboration with employers, ensuring the students learn the skills that are needed to excel in their chosen field.

The program, which began with one Career Pathway and a few dozen students in three high schools, now exists in every high school in the state, with a total of ten Career Pathways from which schools can choose offerings for their students. This fall, more than 5,000 students will participate.

Pathways to Prosperity’s career pathways align with fields that are projected to have a high potential for growth in the future. These currently include manufacturing logistics and production, biomedical science, engineering, engineering technology, computer networking and programming, finance, healthcare, and culinary & hospitality management. New pathways in nursing, education, and environmental science will be available in some schools starting this upcoming school year. Students who participate in the program are also given the opportunity to participate in an internship with Delaware companies that are associated with their chosen field.

Agilent Technologies, a global leader in life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical markets with a facility in Northern New Castle County, was one of the first companies to participate in the program, accepting interns from the Manufacturing Pathway. Three Pathways interns currently work at Agilent this summer and the company recently hired a previous Pathways intern who has since graduated from High School as a full time employee.

Executive Order 61 calls for the creation of a 14 member steering committee in charge of setting the long term direction of the program. The steering committee will help to develop and approve new pathways, improve existing pathways, and set long term performance goals.

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