Program to engage students, families, employers


Staff Report



CHARLESTON — West Virginia business leaders are stepping up to support WV Ready Graduate, a statewide program that prepares high school students for college and careers.

“WV Ready Graduate gives West Virginia employers an opportunity to support high school students and help them develop the skills and traits they need to succeed after graduation,” Toyota Motor Manufacturing WV President Srini Matam said. “We see this as a groundbreaking program that will benefit thousands of our young people.”

Amelia Courts, president and chief executive officer of The Education Alliance, said the WV Ready Graduate will launch a website on Oct. 15. The WVGraduate.com site will give students, parents, employers and citizens an inventory of the skills and characteristics valued by employers and the community at large. It also will provide a forum for business and community leaders to join partnerships that help develop WV Ready students.

Courts said WV Ready Graduate is a collaboration of The Education Alliance and Leadership West Virginia, an innovative program that grows, engages and mobilizes leaders. Business and community leaders will spend the next few months promoting WV Ready Graduate to make more West Virginians aware of the program, how it works and its objectives, Courts said.

A leader within WV Ready Graduate, Toyota hosted high school students as interns this summer at its Putnam County manufacturing facility. Matam said the program gives students a greater understanding of the changing workplace.

“As a major employer in West Virginia, Toyota sees WV Ready Graduate as an ally of our schools in preparing students for an ever-changing job market that demands problem-solving and strong math, science and communications skills,” Matam said. “Our company and other employers invest in West Virginia because we see a bright future here, and we want to do everything we can to prepare our young people to be well-rounded and productive citizens.

“I am confident that employers of all sizes and in all sectors – from health care to technology to business operations – share the vision of WV Ready Graduate.”

Courts said business and community leaders, through WV Ready Graduate, are preparing students for their future in West Virginia. She said the program promotes: The importance of math and science; financial literacy; career readiness; personal self-confidence and wellness; strong work ethic; inclusiveness and open-mindedness; innovative problem-solving; planning, organization and self-direction; and appropriate technical skills based on an individual’s chosen career path.

About The Education Alliance

Founded in July 1983 as the first statewide public education fund in the nation, The Education Alliance is a private-sector initiative to help businesses understand the importance of financially and resourcefully supporting the state’s public schools and to give business a voice in public education that advances policies and practices to continually improve public school student achievement in West Virginia.

Article shared by the West Virginia Press Association to its members.

Staff Report