Investing in Our High Schoolers
For years, several economic studies have proven that the 21st century economy requires a workforce that has multiple years of workplace experience. Many college students graduate with a degree and little to no workplace experience due to the lack of emphasis placed on obtaining it. This leads them down a path of trying to find low wage, entry level jobs or even unpaid temporary internships while trying to repay their hefty student loans.
As I travel throughout the county and state, I hear from high school and college students repeatedly say, “it is hard to get experience because every job requires experience”. This disheartening statement has become so redundant that I am proposing a bold change in the way our half-day schedules for seniors and the graduation requirement of community service hours are structured.
My detailed plan, entitled “Intern Investment Initiative ” or “i3 ", will allow graduating high school seniors who qualify for half-day course schedules to work part-time for the county government or private businesses who have been granted partnership contracts with the school system. Any qualifying senior can use the hours earned working in their internship in collaboration with their community service hours in order to graduate. However, an internship would not be a separate graduation requirement.