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Utah News

State, Industry Partner To Prepare Students For Careers

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On Tuesday, Gov. Gary Herbert announced the creation of a new grant program to help provide work-based learning programs for adults and students.

Talent Ready Utah is expected to help Herbert reach his goal to fill 40,000 high-skill industry positions in Utah over the next several years. While there are currently other job-training options out there, Kimberlee Carlile of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development said that Talent Ready Utah is unique for the level of cooperation with local industries.

“The uniqueness of this program is the industry involvement. We’ve seen through personal experience that when industry is involved with the training—and that can be in a number of different areas including helping to write curriculum, providing internships or job shadows as a part of the training—that helps the students to have those experiences that are so critical to education,” Carlile said.

$2.1 million in funding that was going to the Utah Cluster Acceleration Program will now be used for Talent Ready Utah grants.

Providing internships and other hands-on experiences is one thing. Getting students excited and engaged enough to seize those opportunities is quite another. That’s where the industry partners come in. According to Carlile, representatives from diesel tech, aerospace, life science and other industries are already making efforts to reach out to students.

“Engaging high school students we find to be critical. We’d actually like to start engaging students at a younger age, just to let them see what the opportunities are that lie ahead for them. What we’ve seen is industry partners coming into the schools, even setting up booths and talking to the students during lunch,” she said. “We’ve seen them come into the classroom and even teaching a lesson during the semester to show the students, ‘Hey, this is what it looks like in our industry.’”

Click here for more information on the Talent Ready Utah program.