• 40+ Legislators Sponsor Bill that Expands Student Opportunity to Earn Industry-Recognized Credential

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    March 04, 2019

    40+ Legislators Sponsor Bill that Expands Student Opportunity to Earn Industry-Recognized Credentials

    More than forty legislators, led by Representative Jeffrey N. Roy, have signed H.567, a bill that expands opportunities for students to earn industry-recognized credentials (IRCs) in high school. 

    The bill creates a financial incentive to be awarded to schools for every student that earns an industry-recognized credential that has high employment value, earns the student college credit, and/or addresses regional workforce demands.  It includes start-up funding for implementation to enable and encourage less well-resourced districts to participate. 

    “Offering industry-recognized credentials will help align high school education with future professional and academic pursuits and open up additional avenues for students,” said Representative Roy, Chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education. “It will also help us address the workforce skills gap in the Commonwealth, build a strong talent pipeline, and link students to jobs that pay high living wages. It’s a win for the Massachusetts economy, a win for our businesses, and a great opportunity for students.”

    The bill requires the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to create an annual list of occupations in high need of additional skilled employees that either require an industry-recognized certification, or for which such a certification will materially enhance a job applicant’s chance for employment and/or compensation.  The Executive Office will rank the list based on employment value and the top 20% will earn the district the financial award.

    Several states have adopted similar strategies to encourage school districts to offer industry certification courses to students.  In Florida, where the program was established in 2007, over 86,000 students have earned industry certifications with student enrollment rising every year.

    To read more about what the bill does click here.

    To read the bill text click here.
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