Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, the state Department of Public Instruction has mandated that all public school students engage in the development of an Academic and Career Plan (ACP). The intent is for students to begin career exploration during their middle school years which, in turn, will lead them to the development of their individualized ACP. This is intended to be an iterative process, with parental participation, that would help form the basis for curriculum choices in middle and high school and guide identification and selection of post high school educational  options.

A key support piece is the use of Career Cruising software that will enable students and parents to explore various jobs and career options and determine related educational requirements. This will be facilitated through the creation of employer profiles input by area business and industry and the identification of various career coaches at each company that will be available to communicate with and respond to student questions. This could lead to company tours, job shadowing and possible internships and co-op employment opportunities in the latter years of high school. The objective is to help support informed job/career choices by students. Will students change their minds along the way and decide to pursue other career options? Of course they will, but isn’t it better to do that before entering college and changing their major?

The Washington County Workforce Alliance is supporting the further development  and implementation of Inspire Washington County which will also use the Career Cruising software to connect the Hartford, Slinger, West Bend and Kewaskum school districts so that students can access career information from employers throughout the county rather than only those within their school district boundaries.

Work has already begun on this very important initiative which we hope will help students recognize the terrific employment opportunities we have in the county and what they need to do to prepare themselves for success.