Employability at MHS

Preparing Students to Go to Work
Posted on 11/11/2021

Preparing Students to Go to Work
By: Brad Ellebracht, MHS Principal

  Our mission at Mexico High School is to ensure that all of our students are ready to make positive contributions to their communities, their families and their workplaces.  We take this mission very seriously.  When we have the opportunity to work with the business leaders in our community, to have them tell us about what characteristics and skills they need in future employees, we listen and learn. Out of this partnership with local businesses and Bright Futures, we are building a multi-faceted employment readiness program at MHS. 

  The program includes courses at the school like Essential Outcomes, where we help younger students with goal-setting, working through adversity and interpersonal skills.    We also have started a JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates) program to help students develop leadership skills and workplace readiness. These programs supplement, for some students, the skills and mindsets we instill throughout all of our courses, including responsibility, accountability, quality work completion and getting along with supervisors and peers.

  This year we are also piloting an employability score as a way of providing feedback and reporting how well students are demonstrating workplace readiness.  We have a group of about eighty students in our pilot program this year, and hope to be ready to roll out a score of all of our students in the 2022-23 school year.  

  This employability score will be representative of how our students and our future workforce are able to demonstrate the skills of effective employees.   It will be a measure of things like attendance, task completion and the ability to receive and grow from feedback.  Measuring these qualities separately from the students’ academic performance will help our students in several ways.  

  First, we will have actionable data on each student and their workplace readiness.  This will allow us to build and implement supports to help them reach their potential. Next, students and families will get clear, intentional communication about the development of this skill-set so they can partner with us.  Finally, it will allow our students/graduates to have a conversation with potential employers about this score and use it as evidence of their preparation for work. 

  We are so fortunate to have a business community in Mexico that is so eager to invest the time and effort into our students to build the workforce they need.  At MHS we are going to continue to work with our local industry leaders to look for innovative ways to meet the needs of all our students and this community.