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DCPS Panel of Industry Experts Initiate Work to Improve Career Readiness Roadmap for Students

Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Local leaders convene to begin development of 3-year strategic plan for career preparation programming at DC Public Schools

(Washington, DC) DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Lewis Ferebee convened a panel of industry experts and local leaders to provide input and expertise in creating an impactful strategic roadmap to increase career readiness among DCPS students. Along with the community workforce partners, the panel includes leaders of emerging high-wage and in-demand industries such as hospitality, healthcare, IT/engineering, and construction from across the District.

“DCPS is committed to preparing our students for their future endeavors, whether they choose to attend college or to begin their career,” said Chancellor Lewis Ferebee. “We assembled a group of experts who know the ins and outs of their industries and can offer valuable insights on how we can better prepare our students to align with the needs and demands of the local workforce and economy.”

The panel of industry experts roadmap will focus on building a K-12 career preparation for students; better engage non-Career and Technical Education students in career preparation; reduce barriers for seniors entering career-based pathways; create a unique menu of career program options at alternative schools; and create aligned and sustainable funding streams for career preparation programs. The goal for this work is to apply the recommendations provided by the panel to create a 3-year Strategic Plan for Career Preparation Programming at DCPS.

Today’s gathering marked the first meeting of the panel with plans meet twice again over the next year.

The DCPS Panel of Industry Experts is composed of community workforce partners Jennie Niles, President and CEO of CityWorks DC; Chris Murphy, Vice President for Government Relations and Community Engagement of Georgetown University; and Dan Tangherlini, CFO of Emerson Collective.

Panelists include Mike Curtain, CEO of DC Central Kitchen; Elliot Ferguson, President and CEO of Destination DC; Audrey Skinner, Director, Talent Acquisition of Children’s National Hospital; Jaqueline Bowens, President and CEO of DC Hospital Association; Kerron Duncan, CTO, Chief Information Office of Northrop Grumman; Chen Wickham, Senior Director, Digital Engineering of Raytheon Technologies; Carolyn Ellison, Executive Vice President Corporate Affairs of Clark Construction; and Paula Ralph, COO of DC Students Construction Trades Foundation.

DCPS students can participate in a range of career preparation programs and activities. Currently, DCPS offers 25 Career Education Pathways for nearly 4,400 students across 16 high schools. Starting last year, DCPS Career Technical Education (CTE) began supporting students in grades 6th-8th at 13 middle schools. The current model is designed to empower students to make an informed decision about their postsecondary pathway with the goal of achieving a high skill, high wage, and in demand career.