News from the PIC
Over the last decade, the dropout rate for Boston Public Schools (BPS) students has decreased significantly, from 9.4% in 2006 to 3.6% in 2017, the lowest on record. During the 2016-17 school year, 660 students left school before graduating, a sharp decline from the 1,936 students who left during the 2005-06 school year. This decrease is attributable to many factors, among them the work of Boston’s Re-Engagement Center (REC), a partnership between the PIC and BPS.
The PIC released a new report for Success Boston, the city's college completion initiative, detailing the college enrollment and completion of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Class of 2011. In response to a goal set in 2008 that 70% of college-going BPS graduates earn a degree, Staying the Course takes a closer look at the progress we've made as a city, as well as the work we must do to support all students as they pursue postsecondary education.
On March 9, the PIC organized its 23rd annual Job Shadow Day for Boston public high school students. Job Shadow Day serves as a first look for both students and employers ahead of summer jobs. For employers who are considering hiring high school students, the day serves as a way to experience having students in the office. For the students, it is an opportunity to preview what it might be like to work at a company during the summer. In total, 456 students visited 44 employer across the city of Boston.
Tech Apprentice was launched in 2005 as a collaborative effort between the Boston PIC, BATEC, and Tech Boston. To-date, the initiative has facilitated more than 1,000 paid IT-related internships for Boston public high school students. The PIC's newly released 10-year retrospective study profiles the 734 students who had a Tech Apprentice internship between Summer 2006 and Summer 2016, examining their subsequent education and employment choices.
On Friday, March 9, the PIC will be coordinating the 23rd Annual Job Shadow Day in partnership with area employers. Job Shadow Day is a chance for Boston public high school students to preview the workplace prior to applying for summer jobs and internships by shadowing local professionals. It is also a time for employers who are planning to hire students through the PIC to engage with young adults.
Now in its second year, the PIC is sponsoring a pilot program to help Boston public high school students develop the knowledge and skills needed to take advantage of financial services internships. The Financial Literacy and Career Exploration Program includes a series of after-school workshops, skills-based trainings, and site visits to local financial services companies - all with the goal of preparing 50 students to secure competitive summer internships.
In support of the Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program, the Boston PIC partners with the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development to recruit private sector employers to pay and supervise high school students. Additionally, we provide subsidized employment opportunities for students at community-based organizations and city agencies through funding from YouthWorks and private foundations. During summer 2017, the PIC prepared 2,665 Boston Public Schools students for work-based learning opportunities.
A draft of the Greater Boston Workforce Planning Blueprint is now available for public comment. The Governor's Workforce Skills Cabinet - the Secretaries of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, and Housing and Economic Development - initiated a regional planning process that convened workforce, education, and economic development entities. The goal is to identify critical labor supply gaps and suggest strategies to close them.
Connecting youth with work-based learning experiences today is critical to building a more prepared and informed workforce tomorrow. As the labor market continues to evolve with new skills and occupations, it is essential that we equip young people with transferable skills and the knowledge to navigate the workforce.
The PIC has had a robust partnership with Starbucks for nearly two years, resulting in the company hiring more than 70 PIC-coached students. One major draw for students is the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, a joint program launched in 2014 with Arizona State University (ASU) Online that helps Starbucks employees attend college online without going into debt. Onyinyechi “Oni” Onwuka was one of the earliest PIC-coached students to be hired at Starbucks, and she is taking full advantage of the College Achievement Plan.