Letter: ?Yes? vote proves vital for students by Patrick Kubeny
Employers expect to hire 13 percent more new college graduates from the class of 2013 than they did from the class of 2012, according to NACE’s Job Outlook 2013 survey (http://www.naceweb.org/s09262012/job-outlook-2013/?referal).
Projections show employers plan to target business, engineering and computer-related degrees at the bachelor’s level during the 2012-13 college recruiting season. Who is in demand? The top 10 bachelor’s degrees for the college class of 2013 are 1) finance 2) computer & information science 3) accounting 4) business administration/management 5) mechanical engineering 6) management information systems 7) electrical engineering 8) computer engineering 9) marketing and 10) economics. In order for students to think about majoring in these areas, they need the chance to explore them in high school.
Also, please read the following statements that were made by Tony Evers, Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction, on Jan. 25, 2013 (http://news.dpi.wi.gov/files/eis/pdf/dpinr2013_13.pdf): “In Wisconsin and across the nation, employers are warning of impending shortages of workers in several specialized careers. Public education can help fix this problem as we reinvigorate the state’s high school career and technical education (CTE) programs. While a bachelor’s degree is an important path to lifetime success and family-supporting careers, it is not the only route. Students and parents need information about diploma and apprenticeship programs, technical college degrees and industry certifications that require less than a four-year degree but also lead to a good life and a successful, rewarding career.
“When we reinvigorate CTE, we’re not just training students for high-demand jobs. The 16 career clusters, which are broad occupational groupings, provide high school students with rigorous academic preparation and skills for success in college, career and civic life. CTE gives students hands-on experience, developing the ‘soft skills’ like punctuality, teamwork and problem-solving that employers say they want and are needed throughout life.
“Because CTE programs must be at the forefront of innovation and industry standards, they can be expensive and have been hard hit by education funding cuts. Our most recent staffing survey showed a 6 percent cut to career and technical education positions in one-year’s time. CTE needs a financial investment, which I’ve requested in my 2013-15 education budget.”
The Rhinelander school board has preliminarily approved deep cuts to the elective areas that teach the business, engineering and computer-related subjects referred to above in event the referendum fails. So, for the sake of the students, please vote “yes” on Feb. 19.
Patrick Kubeny, Rhinelander