The US economy will create 16 million jobs by 2024 that require post secondary degrees, though not necessarily a four-year college degree. The demand for these “new-collar” jobs continues to increase, as millions of jobs requiring only a high school diploma have disappeared.
Young people understand the need to prepare for the workplace by acquiring skills and education, yet a high percentage do not obtain a college degree. The on-time, national community college graduation rate is 13 percent. Graduation rates among low-income students are significantly lower.
To provide a holistic approach to education and workforce development, IBM, the New York City Department of Education, and The City University of New York designed and launched the first P-TECH school in Brooklyn, New York, in September 2011 — and the first class graduated in June 2017.
P-TECH was designed with two goals:
- Address the global “skills gap” and strengthen regional economies by building a workforce with the academic, technical and professional skills required for new-collar jobs.
- Provide underserved youth with an innovative education opportunity — with a direct pathway to college attainment and career readiness.
P-TECH has now grown to more than 100 schools across eight US states (New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland, Colorado, Rhode Island, Texas and Louisiana), plus Australia, Morocco and Taiwan, with further replication underway. More than 500 large and small companies are partnering with schools across a wide range of sectors, including health IT, advanced manufacturing, and energy technology.