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Jan-17-2007 09:13printcomments

Salem-Keizer School District Launches Career-Related Learning Program

Ready to Learn – Ready to Work is a partnership with local Chambers and the School District that helps prepare high school students for success in college and work.

Students disect a fish in a hands on classroom environment.

(SALEM) - A new career-related program aimed at supporting high school students has been developed in partnership with the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, the Salem-Keizer School District, and E3: Employers for Education Excellence.

Ready to Learn – Ready to Work, which launches this month, will help students understand why academic success and career skills are important and relevant to their future through a wide range of work-based learning experiences including job shadows and internships, workplace tours and classroom presentations from local business leaders who will help make student lessons come alive.

“Our nation faces an important challenge when a significant number of our graduates are unprepared for the expectations of entry-level jobs or the demands of college,” said Glenn Gelbrich, assistant superintendent, Salem Keizer Public Schools and co-chair of the project leadership team.

“We must work together with the business community to give our students career-related learning experiences that help them understand the skills and knowledge required in the workplace and college and motivate them toward success.”

Many local employers, including US Bank, PGE, Salem Hospital, T-Mobile, Oregon Employment Department, Oregon Department of Human Services, Washington Mutual, State Farm Insurance, Enterprise for Employment and Education and Premier Communications have already signed up for the program and committed to provide job shadows, internships, workplace tours or classroom presentations for students.

“Our goal is to significantly increase the number of employers who engage with students in career-based learning experiences,” said Ryan Allbritton, District Manager, US Bank and co-chair of the project leadership team.

“All employers have a role to play in helping to prepare the next generation of employees and citizens. I encourage all my business colleagues to visit the website and register to get involved.”

“This initiative is critical to the health and foundation of our future workforce and local economy,” said Mike McLaran, CEO of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Employers have a unique role to play in providing work-based experiences that make a connection between the classroom and the real world.”

“Keizer employers are eager to support the future success of our high school students,” said Christine Dieker, executive director of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce.

“Studies have shown that students are more engaged and successful when adults in their community support education. We’re pleased to connect our employers to students through Ready to Learn – Ready to Work.”

Ready to Learn – Ready to Work was developed in partnership with E3: Employers for Education Excellence, a statewide non-profit organization founded by the Oregon Business Council to help boost student achievement in Oregon.

A leadership team consisting of local business and education leaders, including representatives from the Salem and Keizer Chambers, developed the program and began employer recruitment.

An E3 project manager helped guide the team through a strategic planning process.

“The school district and business leaders have developed an excellent program model, “said Kyle Ritchey-Noll, E3 project manager.

“The group was very thoughtful about setting up this program to make it easy for employers to get involved and make a difference in the future of local students.”

Employers interested in getting involved in the program can visit the new project website Ready to Learn | Ready to Work or contact Cori Clausen, Workforce Development Coordinator, (503) 798-7470 or (503) 581-1466 or email her at

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