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Mr. GROTHMAN. Mr. Speaker, GPS Education Partners (GPSEd) is a nonprofit organization that carries out innovative advancements in the development and work readiness of our next-generation workforce. The program has served Wisconsinites for 23 years, graduating over 1,100 students, 35 percent of which have either a cognitive or physical disability. The program prides itself on achieving a 97 percent graduation rate with students obtaining accolades such as industry- recognized certifications to students' pursuing full-time or part-time post-secondary education paths.
GPSEd partners with 200 students each school year serving both first- year juniors and second-year seniors. The program discovered that high school students found difficulty in connecting their education to an attainable career. As the gap for skilled workers continues to expand, GPSEd encourages the pursuance of technical careers within various industries. Bridging efforts between educators, communities, and businesses fuses the change that GPSEd strives for.
Through the utilization of an accelerated program, GPSEd is able to properly prepare students for technical careers in a more efficient and effective manner compared to traditional pathways. Each student is given a specialized, unique solution that enables them to become their own emergent leaders at the conclusion of the program. Effective employer engagement practices have assisted in the expansion of employer involvement within GSPEd's programs. Due to a lack of exposure and quality training, nearly 94 percent of students are uninterested in skilled trades. However, 85 percent of the students enrolled in GSPEd pursue technical careers following their exposure to work based learning.
It is encouraging to see organizations such as GSPEd educating our youth to the ample amount of opportunities the career and technical field can provide. Too often, students find themselves pressured into seeking four-year college degrees. It is time to reaffirm students that job training programs, apprenticeships, and career and technical education are fields that are at a high demand with employers eager to fill positions. I want to extend my gratitude to GSPEd for carrying out this important mission.
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