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Workforce Initiative Highlight | PREP-KC

by Mary Rooney | Dec 02, 2019

Inspire Young People to Pursue a Career in Supply Chain & Logistics

In K-12 education, too few students (and their teachers) are aware of the thriving career opportunities that exist in the supply chain & logistics industry. PREP-KC wants to work with the region’s business partners to change that for Kansas City’s urban students. To get more students interested in these careers, PREP-KC believes the following is needed: 

  • Move up the K-12 pipeline to expose younger students to this career path,

  • Develop opportunities for students to gain the skills employers most need, and 

  • Immerse students in workforce experiences and give them the opportunity to earn a credential valued by employers or work on a classroom project that includes employer feedback. These are called “Market Value Assets.”

Providing these types of opportunities creates a path to economic opportunity for urban students and can diversify the Kansas City region's homegrown talent pipeline.

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What role can employers & postsecondary partners play?

PREP-KC has spent 13 years building a robust and diverse network of business and industry professionals who are committed to volunteering their time, energy, and expertise to help students prepare for college and career success. During the 2018-2019 school year, PREP-KC engaged 872 industry volunteers who reached 8,554 students through face-to-face career exploration and preparation activities. As PREP-KC concentrates its strategies on helping students attain MVAs, engagement with industry volunteers will be absolutely critical.  Here’s how you can help:

  • Engage with students and teachers through a virtual platform, The Connector (powered by Nepris).  The Connector allows industry professionals to connect with teachers and students virtually by using the Zoom teleconferencing technology. These virtual connections remove much of the logistical challenges of connecting industry professionals with students and will accelerate PREP-KC’s ability to scale relationships between volunteers, students, and teachers.

  • Sign-up to share your career story with students in person at one of the many events scheduled throughout the school year. See the list of events at PREP-KC’s website.

  • Contact Beth McCarthy at bmccarthy@prepkc.org to explore other opportunities to engage with students, including hosting worksite visits, developing or advising “Client Projects”, hosting high school interns, and other critical support for schools.

PREP-KC’s Goal: All students earn a Market Value Asset (MVA) in high school

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Research shows that students who obtain a Market Value Asset are more likely to complete a college degree, gain meaningful employment, and advance more quickly in their careers. For students growing up in low-income households, MVAs may be especially valuable. Research and PREP-KC’s experience demonstrates that earning an MVA in high school can positively impact a student’s trajectory after high school and provide a powerful springboard for economic mobility. 

PREP-KC Overview

PREP-KC believes that while talent is equally distributed across society, opportunity is not. The organization aims to help close this “opportunity gap” for students attending urban schools across the Kansas City region by providing students intensive college and career preparation that provides them with a springboard to postsecondary education and career success. 

PREP-KC was founded in 2005 as Kansas City’s leading urban education intermediary. Its mission is to increase college readiness and access to high-quality employment for nearly 50,000 mostly low-income students served by six of the two-state KC region’s urban school districts and four charter schools. PREP-KC works with urban school districts to ensure many more students receive intensive postsecondary preparation that integrates a stackable set of college courses, career-readiness credentials/certificates, and project-based experiences into the high school course-of-study. The student experience is customized based on their college and career goals. PREP-KC assists students to earn Market Value Assets (MVAs), which are defined as industry-valued skills acquired in high school that create a more seamless transition from school to postsecondary education and/or the workplace. These student experiences provide opportunities for real-world problem-solving, as well as communication and collaboration with people beyond the school walls, and are essential drivers of MVAs.
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Learn more at prepkc.org.

 

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