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How CPS Plans To Put (And Keep) Students In Cincinnati's Workforce

bond hill academy
Ann Thompson
As part of a new program, Bond Hill Academy, which focuses on math and science, requires kids to wear lab coats.

Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Laura Mitchell says she is focused on the three Es -- enrolled, enlisted, employed -- as the district tries to prepare students for graduation and keep them in Cincinnati after commencement. It's hoped a variety of partnerships, including one with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, will further the goal.

During the annual State of the Schools address Friday, Mitchell outlined a cybersecurity partnership already underway at Taft Information Technology High School. The district is partnering with the technical staffing service Belcan to offer a cybersecurity certificate, making students ready to go straight into jobs that could command $50,000 out of high school.

A DHL logistics program launches this fall. The paid co-op also provides transportation for interested students. That transporation can continue for up to a year longer if students decide to work for the company after graduation.

Credit Ann Thompson
CPS Superintendent Laura Mitchell speaks to teachers and administrators Friday morning at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts.

CPS continues partnerships with Metro, Messer Construction, GE Aviation, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati and Miami University. A UC IT program allows graduating high school seniors to enter the university as a sophomore.

The Chamber and CPS are launching a pre-apprenticeship program this fall. It will start with manufacturing and expand to advanced manufacturing and information technology next year. Chamber CEO Jill Meyer says participating companies include:

Meyer says the Chamber is all in. "We want our students and their parents to know that their pathway to employment is right here in Cincinnati."
In order to get students there, CPS is focused on kindergarten readiness; literacy and math; increasing ACT scores and the number of students taking AP classes; and graduating.

"We believe that the measures we have identified are all enablers to a career pathway," says Mitchell.

Some highlights from Friday's program at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts include: an increase of 4,462 more students since 2013; three new schools since Aug. 2017; 202 more students enrolled in innovative new programs, a .3 percent increase in ACT scores; and a four percent increase in students taking advanced placement courses.