Among Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's legislative initiatives, signed into law last week, was patterned after the Northwest Indiana Regional Education/Employer Alliance for Developing Youth (READY) program.
Senate Enrolled Act 465 establishes regional Works Councils, similar to the existing READY NWI program, where business leaders and educators collaborate in matching school curriculum to the training needs of regional employers.
"Using a regional approach helps do that in a way that best meets the needs of our students, our communities and our employers, and it will mean jobs and opportunities for Hoosiers for generations to come," Pence said.
READY NWI is one of the regional leadership initiatives under the One Region umbrella. The program, which inspired Pence to ask for the new law, has been active.
READY NWI school leadership teams have been meeting throughout the year to learn how to use new assessment tools to prepare their 8th grade students for college and careers, with particular emphasis on counseling and high school course selection.
A total of 24 schools from 12 school corporations have volunteered to be part of a regional pilot to improve their students' understanding of the importance of their education in relation to careers they might want to consider for high-quality jobs being created by Northwest Indiana's employers.
The professional development donated and delivered by READY NWI's partners, the College Acceleration Network and ACT, has included how to use the assessment tools, understanding the profile developed for each student, and interventions which would assist teachers in improving students' math and reading levels.
Congratulations to all the administrators, counselors and teachers for their willingness to continue to improve the lives of all of their students. Their leadership and commitment to see that each of their students graduate college ready and career ready is vital to the students' success and the future economy of Northwest Indiana.