Tag Archives: P-Tech

New York State Announces Second Round of P-TECH Business-Education Partnerships

New York state has announced a $4-million second round of funding to expand the nationally recognized P-TECH model, which prepares students for highly-skilled jobs by bringing together public school districts, major employers, and institutions of higher education. Through partnerships created by this program, high school students study under an industry aligned curriculum, earn an associate degree at no cost to their families, and are first in line for jobs with participating companies upon graduation.

The first 16 schools funded in the first round of NYS P-TECH awards will open in September, preparing to serve more than 6,000 young adults throughout the state.

The Business Council supports, and is involved in the P-TECH partnerships which were innovated by IBM.

Stanley S. Litow, IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of the company’s International Foundation, said, “The P-TECH grades 9 -14 model can be a real boon to students and employers, creating a clear pathway from school to career all across New York State.”

Heather C. Briccetti, President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, said, “Our members across the state have jobs for skilled workers to grow their businesses and drive the local economy. NYS P-TECH’s public-private partnership model ensures quality education for students and a highly-skilled labor force for employers.”

Applications are due by September 12, 2014 and can be found at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/kiap.

P-TECH high schools plan to go statewide


In the fall, eighteen new Pathways to Education in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) will open across New York state, meaning that ninth-graders starting in September will be able to pursue an educational path that lets them graduate in six years with an associate degree.

The sixteen P-TECH high schools will hold summer sessions in July, when students will be introduced to each other and gain a head start on project-based learning and other key elements of the P-TECH model.

Representatives of the schools met recently at a session in Albany to discuss program implementation. The event featured State Education Commissioner John King, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, IBM Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs Stanley S. Litow (pictured above) , and Business Council President and CEO Heather C. Briccetti, Esq. (pictured above).

Each school will have a curriculum based on workplace learning — designed to provide students with math, writing, collaboration and presentation skills — they’ll need to succeed in today’s business environment.

Each P-TECH school has a corporate partner and the students should graduate with skills that will qualify them to work at major companies like IBM, GlobalFoundries, Lockheed-Martin, GE Healthcare or Bombardier.

Graduating with the two-year college degrees will come at no cost to students in the program.

P-TECH schools were awarded shares of a $28 million state grant in a competition last year offered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

The schools are all modeled after Brooklyn’s P-TECH High School that formed as a partnership between the New York City School District and IBM.

IBM’s Litow said the model was conceived as way for IBM to fill the growing need for middle-skills jobs that require more education than a high school diploma but not a four-year college degree.

Speaking to teams of educators and business leaders who are organizing the new schools, Litow said recently that the challenge they face is to bring to scale the successful Brooklyn model.

“Bringing great initiatives to scale is always the greatest challenge,” he said.

Businesses in New York state are projected to create one million jobs that require more education than a high school diploma but not a four-year college degree between 2008 and 2018, according to data compiled by Jobs for the Future and The Business Council of New York State.

Referred by the Brookings Institute as “the hidden STEM economy,” middle-skill jobs will make up 39 percent — the largest portion — of all jobs in New York state by 2018. Jobs requiring a four-year college degree will comprise 34 percent of the workforce while low-skill jobs, those requiring a high school diploma or less, will make up the remaining 27 percent of the workforce.

“The business community recognizes the urgency in closing the middle-skills gap, and that jobs in the STEM field play a major role in driving the state’s economy,” said Business Council President Briccetti.

Career and technical education key to New York’s future

The Business Council is actively seeking additional member participation for our Career and Technical Education (CTE) committee. Chuck Szuberla, assistant commissioner at the state education department, recently noted  the importance of CTE and its link to college and career readiness including the fact that an additional $1 trillion could be injected into the U.S. economy annually, if U.S. students performed at the same level in math as students in Canada.

The majority of students who complete CTE programs have over a 90 percent graduation rate but early exposure to it is critical. CTE requires rigorous instruction and is not a lowering of standards. The Board of Regents is currently looking into multiple pathways to graduation, including a specialized CTE diploma. The Business Council encourages companies that support an alternative to the Regents diploma to express their support to the Regents.

One example of a model that is successfully incorporating CTE programming is the New York State Pathways in Technology Early College High School program (NYS P-TECH). This partnership between school districts, private sector companies and the State University of New York has the goal of ensuring that students are prepared with academic, technical and soft skills — such as critical thinking — needed for success post-high school. There are currently 16 partnerships from across the state, which allow businesses to play a critical role in mentoring and providing work-site learning experiences.

Please contact Sonia Lindell to get involved with The Council’s CTE education efforts.

Time Warner Cable News interview with Business Council President on Common Core


Business Council President and CEO Heather C. Briccetti, Esq. appeared on the Time Warner Cable News show Capital Tonight last night to talk about workforce readiness and Common Core in light of the Governor’s Common Core Panel issuing its report, and Legislature’s vote to fill four seats on the Board of Regents.

President Briccetti highlighted that it is important to separate Common Core standards from issues with implementation.  She reiterated The Business Council’s support for higher standards and said that going back to standards that are insufficient is not the answer, as only 35 percent of high school graduates are college or career ready.

She also highlighted that there is a difference between slowing down implementation and the conversation surrounding how tests are used,  and that we should not back away from higher standards because the process is challenging.

“The reason for it is to ensure that when a student graduates, that we can all as parents, and employers, have confidence that that a diploma means something.  If we back away from raising those standards then we are going to go back to situation where we already know we are failing 65 percent of those graduates,” said Briccetti.

Watch the interview with Business Council President and CEO Heather C. Briccetti, Esq. on the Time Warner Cable news website (TWCID required).

President Briccetti also appeared on WCNY’s Capitol Pressroom last week discussing the issue of Common Core as well as P-TECH initiatives; listen to the interview on WCNY’s website (starts at 23:18).

Education reform a priority for The Business Council

Although last week the New York State Board of Regents approved measures to adjust Common Core implementation in New York state — the class of 2022, instead of the class of 2017, will be the first to be required to pass the more rigorous requirements — The Business Council continues to support implementation and the higher academic standards, without delay.

The truth is these standards are much needed to help close the skills gap that exists between recent high school graduates and good paying, in-demand jobs. The Business Council is not the only organization that knows this crucial need.

A recently New York Times editorial, The Common Core in New York, highlights that although the rollout has been bumpy, giving  students a better chance at a good education, is needed and that the state “cannot afford to let this project founder.”

The New York Post recently highlighted how Common Core can help New York students who currently “trail their counterparts in several Asian countries and Russia on math tests.” The article notes that their competitiveness on science exams is even worse.

State Education Commissioner John King also received a show of support from Assemblyman Karim Camara, chair of the state Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, and state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, chair of the state Senate Puerto Rican and Latino Caucus. City and State quoted a joint statement from the legislators in an article who said, “While this has been an emotional debate with marked differences in public policy, there is no doubt that Commissioner King remains a public servant devoted to improving the education and welfare of New York’s kids. We will continue to work towards closing the achievement gap and other urgent issues with Commissioner King and other stakeholders.”

Governor Cuomo also recently announced a panel that will recommend improvements in the state’s rollout of the Common Core. The panel will be led by Business Council member Stan Litow, IBM’s vice president of corporate citizenship & corporate affairs and president of IBM’s Foundation, who has also led the pioneering Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) concept.

The Business Council of New York State encourages all businesses to sign an open letter of support for Common Core Learning Standards. Heather C. Briccetti Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. recently said, “The Business Council of New York State strongly supports the higher academic standards in the Common Core and believes that the state must continue to implement the curriculum without delay.  We also recognize that several corrective actions must be taken in order to be sure that there is a smooth transition to these new, more rigorous standards.

In other education news, a pro-charter schools group, Families for Excellent Schools, launched a campaign opposing New York City Mayor de Blasio’s recent reduction of $210 million in capital as well as a new charter rent policy. The Business Council is a staunch advocate for school choice. Charter schools offer parents and students an alternative to poorly performing public schools. The new Mayor’s efforts to place a moratorium on co-location places city charter schools — most of which fall in high-needs districts — in a position of fiscal uncertainty.

Business Council member, Time Warner Cable News’ blog, State of Politics, recently quoted Rafael Lois, the father of two Girls Prep Bronx scholars who appears in a Families for Excellent Schools video, “The de Blasio administration has said parent voices matter to them, but they seem to be discounting ours. My daughters are receiving an excellent education, which is their moral and legal right, and I will do everything in my power to make sure they continue to have these opportunities.”


IBM SmartCloud helps New York state connect education to jobs

As 16 school districts across New York State prepare to replicate the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) model that connects high school to college and career, collaboration across their network will be critical to success. That’s why IBM has awarded a SmartCloud for Social Business grant to the Public Policy Institute of New York State (PPI), which will oversee the statewide implementation of the P-TECH model. The IBM SmartCloud will enable community college professors, high school teachers, corporate partners and others to develop rigorous academic curricula that map directly to the state’s industry needs — preparing the next generation of New Yorkers for meaningful and productive 21st century careers.

Read more on the Citizen IBM blog, Robin Willner,  a consultant to the Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc. and director of its NYS P-TECH Leadership Council talks about the importance of P-TECH.