“JOURNEY TO JOBS”

October 09, 2019 at 5:00 am

In a new one-hour special, public media’s American Graduate initiative tells the story of the individuals and organizations providing support, advice and intervention services to the unemployed. Tonight, we focus on the victories in one high school in Baldwin on Long Island.

Aired on October 8, 2019. 

Transcript Print

>>> ACCORDING TO THE U.S. BUREAU
OF LABOR, THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
IN THE UNITED STATES HAS
RECENTLY HIT HISTORICALLY LOW
LEVELS.
WITH THAT ANOTHER BOOM.
THERE ARE ROUGHLY 7.2 MILLION
JOBS AVAILABLE.
BUT WITH SO MANY JOB OPENINGS,
HOW EXACTLY ARE EMPLOYERS
FINDING SKILLFUL WORKERS TO FILL
THESE POSITIONS?
AS PART OF THE "AMERICAN
GRADUATE" GETTING TO WORK
INITIATIVE, PBS NEWS HOUR
WEEKEND ANCHOR HARI SREENIVASAN
SHRINES A LIGHT ON THE
INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS
CONNECTING JOB SEEKERS TO
EMPLOYMENT IN A NEW ONE-HOUR
SPECIAL TITLED "JOURNEY TO
JOBS."
LET'S TAKE A LOOK.
>> UNEMPLOYMENT IS AT HISTORIC
LOWS.
YET IN MANY INDUSTRIES THERE'S A
GROWING DISPARITY BETWEEN OPEN
POSITION AND QUALIFIED WORKERS
TO FILL THEM.
I'M HARI SREENIVASAN.
JOIN US FOR A LOOK AT HOW
ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS
ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE BRIDGING
THE SKILLS GAP CREATING
OPPORTUNITIES FOR JOB SEEKERS
AND BUILDING THE WORKFORCE OF
THE FUTURE.
JOURNEY TO JOBS.
>> AND JOINING ME IS THE
SUPERINTENDENT OF BALDWIN SCHOOL
DISTRICT, DR. SHERRY.
SHE HAS FACILITATED A SIMILAR
PROGRAM ON LONG ISLAND THAT'S
PREPARING STUDENTS FOR LIFE
AFTER GRADUATION.
WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>> ALL RIGHT.
SO FIRST OFF, LET'S TALK A
LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE PROGRAM
THAT YOU ARE RUNNING FOR YOUR
STUDENTS BECAUSE THIS SOUNDS
REALLY UNIQUE FOR A PUBLIC
SCHOOL.
>> SO WE REALLY BELIEVE THAT WE
HAVE TO DEVELOP PROGRAMS AROUND
OUR STUDENTS.
AND WE TAKE VERY SERIOUSLY THE
NEED TO PREPARE THEM FOR COLLEGE
AND FOR WORK BEYOND COLLEGE.
IN OUR HIGH SCHOOL IN
PARTICULAR, WE HAVE A FULL BLOWN
ACADEMY PROGRAM THAT GIVES OUR
STUDENTS THE EXPERIENCES WE
THINK THEY NEED TO BE ABLE TO
MAKE A DECISION ABOUT THEIR
EXPERIENCES POST HIGH SCHOOL.
SO WE ARE WORKING REALLY DILL
GENTLY AT DEVELOPING THOSE
ACADEMIES BASED ON THE FUTURE OF
WORK.
>> OF COURSE, NOW CAN YOU GIVE
US SOME SPECIFIC EXAMPLES OF
SOME OF THE OPTIONS THE STUDENTS
HAVE?
BECAUSE THIS IS A PRETTY BROAD
RANGE.
THESE KIDS ARE ABLE TO GET THEIR
HANDS IN AND LEARN FROM DOING,
NOT JUST FROM SITTING IN A
CLASSROOM AND BEING TAUGHT.
>> CURRENTLY WE HAVE SIX
ACADEMIES.
AND EVERY ACADEMY IS -- WE LIKE
TO SAY THAT IT'S TRIANGULATED.
SO WE HAVE RIGOROUS COURSE WORK,
COLLEGE LEVEL COURSE WORK IN
EACH ACADEMY.
WE HAVE EXPERIENCES OUTSIDE THE
SCHOOL DAY IN THE FORM OF SHADOW
DAYS AND INTERNSHIPS.
AND WE HAVE COMPETITIONS IN
EVERY ACADEMY THAT ALLOWS OUR
STUDENTS TO APPLY THE SKILLS
THEY ARE LEARNING IN THEIR
ACADEMY CLASSES.
ONE PARTICULAR EXAMPLE WE HAVE A
MEDICAL ACADEMY AND OUR STUDENTS
TAKE COURSES LIKE RADIOOLOGY,
EMT CLASSES WHERE THEY ARE
REALLY LEARNING THE SKILLS TO BE
ANYTHING IN THE MEDICAL
PROFESSION.
THEY SPEND A LOT OF TIME OUTSIDE
SCHOOL IN OUR PARTNERS,
NORTHWELL HEALTH, MERCY
HOSPITAL, FOR EXAMPLE, AND THEN
THEY PARTICIPATE IN SPARK
CHALLENGES THAT APPLY THE SKILLS
THAT THEY ARE LEARNING IN
EVERYDAY EXPERIENCES.
>> AND SO IN ADDITION TO THE
MEDICAL ACADEMY, I ALSO
UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE A
BUSINESS ACADEMY AND THAT SOME
OF THE KIDS HAVE BECOME CEOs OF
THEIR OWN SMALL BUSINESSES.
>> SO WE HAVE ONE PARTICULAR
COURSE IN OUR BUSINESS ACADEMY
THAT'S CALLED VIRTUAL
ENTERPRISE.
IN THAT COURSE, OUR KIDS ARE
ACTUALLY DESIGNING AND
DEVELOPING THEIR -- A FULL-BLOWN
BUSINESS.
THE KIDS ARE CEOs.
THEY ARE CFOs.
THEY HAVE MARKETING DEPARTMENTS.
THEY DEVELOP EVERYTHING IN THE
BUSINESS THAT A REGULAR BUSINESS
WOULD HAVE, INCLUDING MARKETING
MATERIALS, A WEBSITE, PROMO
MATERIALS, A BUSINESS PLAN.
THE TRUTH IS, THOSE BUSINESSES
ARE READY TO GO.
AND ALL WE REALLY NEED IS THE
FORUM TO OPEN THOSE BUSINESS.
TO BE HONEST, COLLEGE GETS IN
THE WAY OF IT BECAUSE OUR KID
GOES ON TO COLLEGE, OTHERWISE
THEY'D HAVE BUSINESSES THEY
COULD START TOMORROW.
>> I WANT TO MAKE A
CLARIFICATION FOREVER PEOPLE WHO
MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH THE
LONG ISLAND COMMUNITY.
WHAT KIND OF A DISTRICT IS
BALDWIN BECAUSE I THINK WHEN
PEOPLE HEAR SOME OF THESE ELITE
PROGRAMS YOU'RE OFFERING THEY'RE
GOING TO ASSUME, WELL, THAT MUST
BE AN ELITE DISTRICT.
TELL ME ABOUT THE MAKEUP OF YOUR
STUDENTS?
>> I'LL SAY WE'RE ELITE IN TERMS
OF PERSONALITY.
THE KIDS IN MY SCHOOL DISTRICT
ARE THE NICEST, MOST RESPECTFUL,
WONDERFUL KIDS YOU'VE EVER MET.
BUT IN TERMS OF THE DEMOGRAPHICS
OF OUR DISTRICT, WE'RE VERY MUCH
A MIDDLE CLASS COMMUNITY.
WE ARE ABOUT 47%
AFRICAN-AMERICAN.
30% HISPANIC.
14% WHITE.
ABOUT 4% OTHER AND 4% ASIAN.
SO WE REALLY DO REPRESENT THE
WORLD AT LARGE.
>> AND SO OFFERING THESE
DIFFERENT ACADEMIES TO THE
STUDENTS, I'M WONDERING, HOW
DOES THAT SHAPE OR CHANGE
PERHAPS WOULD BE THE WORD, THEIR
PERCEPTION OF WHAT IT IS THEY'RE
CAPABLE OF AND PERHAPS GIVE THEM
CLARITY ON WHAT IT IS THEY WANT
TO DO IN THE WORLD?
>> WHAT WE FIND AFTER SPEAKING
WITH OUR STUDENTS IS THAT THEY
LEARN AS MUCH ABOUT WHAT THEY
DON'T WANT TO DO WHEN THEY
GRADUATE --
>> THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT.
>> AS THEY LEARN -- YES, BELIEVE
ME.
AS A MOM OF A DAUGHTER WHO
THOUGHT SHE WAS GOING INTO
MEDICINE WHEN SHE CHANGED HER
MIND HALFWAY INTO HER
UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM, I
CERTAINLY APPRECIATE BEING ABLE
TO MAKE SOME OF THOSE DECISIONS
BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY GO ON TO
COLLEGE.
BUT WE GIVE OUR STUDENTS
EXPERIENCES IN PRE-ACADEMY
STARTING IN GRADE EIGHT BECAUSE
WE FOUND IF THEY GET A CHANCE TO
EXPLORE DIFFERENT ACADEMIES IN
GRADE EIGHT, BY THE TIME THEY
GET TO HIGH SCHOOL AND GRADE
NINE, THEY HAVE A GOOD
UNDERSTANDING, PARTICULARLY OF
WHAT THEY DON'T WANT TO STUDY.
BUT THEY HAVE A MUCH MORE
NARROWED FOCUS ON WHAT THEY
BELIEVE THEIR PATH IS GOING TO
BE.
>> ALL RIGHT.
WELL, I THINK THAT'S AN
EXCELLENT POINT TO LEAVE IT ON.
SOUNDS LIKE AMAZING WORK YOU
GUYS ARE DOING OUT THERE.
WE'D LOVE TO COME AND SEE MORE.
THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.
>> THANK YOU.
>> FOR MORE INFORMATION ON
JOURNEY TO JOBS, PLEASE VISIT US
AT "METROFOCUS".ORG.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

WNET

© WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019