A new grant means high school students in Snohomish County soon will see more connected pathways to a career in computer science.
Career Connect Northwest (CCNW), hosted at Northwest Educational Service District 189 (NWESD), received news in September 2023 of the award of a $50,000 one-year Boeing Grant to help meet the need for more education opportunities in this STEM field.
This project addresses the need for more data science and analytics and cybersecurity professionals across the region and beyond. These career options create clear pathways to family wage jobs in in-demand fields and help lay the groundwork for students to achieve post-secondary credential attainment while still in high school.
Career Connect NW Co-Directors Jenny Veltri and Sinead Fitzpatrick Plagge are looking forward to engaging in this work.
“Providing clear pathways to family sustaining, high demand jobs is a key goal for the Career Connect NW Network,” said Veltri. “Aligning courses from high school to post-secondary programs ensures equity and parity in access for our most marginalized students. We are excited to work alongside Boeing on this effort.”
Fitzpatrick Plagge added, “The growing need for cybersecurity and data science and analytics professionals is well-documented. Through this grant, we will be able to support the alignment of coursework from local high schools to colleges to better smooth these pathways.”
This project supports Boeing Company’s Our Future goal, creating pathways to strengthen the pipeline of skilled workers entering today’s dynamic labor market. It focuses on building robust and connected career pathways in computer science, especially in data science/analytics and cyber security. These two fields offer in-demand occupations currently underrepresented in STEM fields. The project helps raise students furthest from educational justice and prepare them to enter STEM/high-demand careers.
NWESD is a centralized point for services and information relevant to K-12 education in Northwest Washington and is closely connected to each school district in the region. The NWESD has a long and successful history of organizing, leading, facilitating, and participating in a wide range of regional networks across a broad spectrum of subject matter areas including, but not limited to, teaching and learning; system and school improvement; equity and access; career connected learning; and data services. This work will be facilitated through the Career Connect Northwest Network (CCNW) which is hosted at the NWESD, where there are growing connections with industry and community partners.
CCNW at the NWESD has identified opportunities to align and grow cybersecurity and data science/analytics offerings in Snohomish County high schools with corresponding post-secondary opportunities at nearby institutions such as Everett Community College and WSU Everett. By pooling resources, assets, knowledge, and strengths, CCNW looks forward to facilitating a community of support that ensures sustainable project impacts that increase direct enrollment of high school students into post-secondary high-wage, high-demand degree programs. CCNW plans to convene Career and Technical Education (CTE) directors/teachers and post-secondary faculty to strengthen connections and align career pathways and curriculum that are meaningful to both students and employers in the region.