Recently Jobs for the Future released their seven principles for effective work-based learning. I am often asked what we are doing in education to support new industry and quick skill advancement for our community. PROTEC supports the workforce future we want for Santa Fe. PROTEC is a model for effective work-based learning. Here is how we are doing this in Santa Fe, New Mexico right now;
Support entry and advancement in a career track – PROTEC is designed to work in tandem with employers and workforce agencies as a customized education program that provides interested citizens or current employees with a safe, supportive environment to adopt new skills quickly and practice those skills in on-the-job training.
Provide meaningful job tasks that build career skills and knowledge – PROTEC participants are not-merely modeling future jobs they are actually working on projects and within local companies that value their skills. Employers who offer training to hire opportunities allow new workers a tangible pathway. There are no false promises in meaningful on-the-job training opportunities.
Offer compensation Identify target skills and how gains will be validated – PROTEC is committed to offering participants training stipends and to finding compensation that supports new workers and employers during the training period. Direct pathways for skill development and increased compensation are defined by participating employers. This gives new workers a guideline to see how their commitment equates pay and advancement.
Reward skill development – PROTEC combines industry recognized certifications with skills-based training. New workers can easily identify how their commitment to training leads to certification in skills that employers value. Personal confidence is the one defining factor that ALL PROTEC participants exhibit post-program completion.
Support college entry, persistence, and completion – PROTEC is a champion of non-traditional education however we are aware that degree completers are 67% more successful navigating the job market. Often persistence to completion is an indicator that an employee will “stay the path” in their job. Employers want employees that see the value of skill advancement. Traditional education offers opportunities to higher paying career pathways. PROTEC works with students to find higher education opportunities that directly benefit their chosen pathway. PROTEC helps students navigate an often complicated secondary education system and financial aid system.
Provide comprehensive student supports – PROTEC is housed within Santa Fe Community College. SFCC provides extensive wrap-around support services that help students navigate childcare, eldercare, family services, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse counseling, poverty and food insecurity. These support systems are essential to helping students “stay the path” when personal problems may seem insurmountable. PROTEC provides an integrated environment that operates like an extended family.
PROTEC has spent two pilot years offering skills-training in Information Technology, Microsoft Technical Assistant, Social Media and Video Production. 40 participants have worked with 15 employers with a job placement rate of 80%. This test of what we can do has proven that Santa Fe can meet the jobs for the future. Partnerships between business, government and education are essential for success. PROTEC is an education program that is ready and able to assist business and government in making our dreams for meaningful jobs for Santa Feans a reality.
For more information about PROTEC programs visit https://www.sfcc.edu/protec/