Our Commitment: Ready for College, Ready for Careers

High-quality jobs that are emerging with employers in Northwest Indiana require specific credentials beyond high school. Our commitment is to ensure that our high school students graduate academically, socially, and financially prepared to go directly to further education without the need for remediation and to obtain degrees and other certifications that directly meet the needs of Northwest Indiana employers.

What does READY NWI Stand For?

READY NWI is an acronym for Regional Education and Employer Alliance for Developing Youth in Northwest Indiana.

How Are We Addressing the Issue?

In both strong and weak economies employers consistently report difficulties in finding employees with the skills, knowledge, and abilities demanded by the 21st Century global economy. Many of these businesses have trouble filling open jobs for high skill/high wage positions due in large part to a fundamental misalignment between the skills being taught in local high schools and colleges and those most pertinent to the world of work. Specifically, employers need workers with sound literacy and numeracy skills who are highly skilled in critical thinking and problem solving, and the ability to work in teams and adapt to rapid changes in technology. However, these skills are in short supply, placing employers from Northwest Indiana in a precarious position in a troubling economy.

To address these concerns, the READY NWI and its partners in education throughout Northwest Indiana propose to develop a Regional Network of school and community partners committed to (1) a comprehensive, data-driven regional analysis of student high school readiness for college and careers and (2) an action plan, along with associated business and communication plans, designed to dramatically improve student college and career success.

Regional Partnership Plan

The initial Ready to Work-Ready to Hire: College & Career Readiness Plan for Northwest Indiana was developed in 2012 with assistance from the Lumina Foundation. In 2014, the READY NWI coalition was invited to join Lumina’s national network of regions committed to the “Big Goal” of 60% post-high school credential attainment by 2025. The Northwest Indiana Charter document was created at that time. Both documents can be found under our Reports and Resources tab.

The Plan & Charter Include:

  • Increasing the number of Northwest Indiana residents who have post-secondary credentials by over 200,000 by 2025 to keep pace with job creation and skill demands
  • Building and nurturing alliances among colleges, businesses, economic and workforce development organizations, employers, and local elected officials to fulfill the plan
  • Recommendations to strengthen the assessment system for grades 7-12 to align with business expectations and to provide year-to-year student planning that integrates academic and career plans
  • Recommendations for whole-school models and interventions to ensure the success of each student
  • Giving students a head start on acquiring post-high school credentials they will need for success:
    • Making sure students will not need remediation to move to further training
    • Assisting students in obtaining college credits and industry certifications while still in high school
  • Ensuring rigor in awarding college credits (dual credits/early college) while students are in high school
  • Increasing the “stack-ability” of credentials so that all credits can be applied to future degrees
  • Increasing the capacity of the region’s teachers to provide rigorous and relevant instruction, particularly in science, math and technology courses identified as high priority by colleges and employers in the region
  • Engaging our region’s employers to ensure that our high school graduates are informed about job opportunities and skill pathways that will qualify students for high-quality jobs in the region.
READY NWI • 2804 Boilermaker Court, Suite E • Valparaiso, IN 46383 • (219) 462-2940

READY NWI's Commitment to Our Community

The READY NWI partnership supports the unique aspects of community, school, and student, and embraces a commitment to regional thinking and acting in order to ensure prosperity by meeting the skill and education needs of employers throughout Northwest Indiana.

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