High school isn’t what it used to be

As job opportunities grow in science, tech, engineering and math, the tech industry is calling for a better trained and more diverse workforce. To address this problem, IBM and other tech companies are teaming up with high schools and community colleges to prepare students.

TRANSCRIPT

AS JOB OPPORTUNITIES GROW IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATH, THE TECH INDUSTRY IS CALLING FOR A BETTER-TRAINED AND MORE DIVERSE WORKFORCE.

TO ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM, IBM AND OTHER TECH COMPANIES ARE TEAMING UP WITH HIGH SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY COLLEGES TO CREATE PATHWAYS IN TECHNOLOGY EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOLS, OR P-TECH.

STUDENTS AT THESE HIGH SCHOOLS GRADUATE WITH AN ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE ALONG WITH THEIR HIGH-SCHOOL DIPLOMA, PLUS THE WORK SKILLS AND INTERN EXPERIENCES TO JUMP INTO THE JOB MARKET.

REPORTER ANDREA VASQUEZ TAKES US INSIDE.

HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR AMANDA CRAWFORD HAS A BUSY YEAR.

THIS YEAR IS HEAVIER BECAUSE I HAVE TO JAM EVERYTHING IN SO I CAN GET THE DEGREE IN JUNE.

ALONG WITH A HIGH-SCHOOL DIPLOMA, CRAWFORD WILL GRADUATE WITH AN ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE IN COMPUTER SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY.

AND THE COST TO HER AND HER FAMILY?

NOTHING.

CRAWFORD ATTENDS PATHWAYS IN TECHNOLOGY EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL, OR P-TECH, A GRADE 9-14 PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL WHERE STUDENTS CAN EARN A TWO-YEAR DEGREE AND LEARN THE SKILLS TO WORK AT A TECH COMPANY, LIKE HERE AT IBM, WHERE VICE PRESIDENT FOR CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP AND CORPORATE AFFAIRS STANLEY LITOW DEVELOPED THE P-TECH MODEL.

WE'RE EXPERIENCING WHAT PEOPLE REFER TO AS A SKILLS GAP.

THERE ARE GREAT OPPORTUNITIES IN A GROWING SEGMENT OF THE ECONOMY.

THIS IS AN INTERVENTION PROGRAM AT THE 9th GRADE THAT'S DESIGNED TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF YOUNG PEOPLE WHO HAVE THOSE SKILLS.

A KEY PART OF P-TECH IS THAT THE MODEL IS MEANT TO BE REPLICATED.

EVERY P-TECH SCHOOL NEEDS THREE PARTNERS -- A SCHOOL, A COMMUNITY COLLEGE, AND AN INDUSTRY PARTNER.

BEYOND THAT, THEY'RE NOT IN NEW BUILDINGS, THEY MAY NOT HAVE STATE-OF-THE-ART EQUIPMENT, AND THEY'RE NOT IN WELL-TO-DO NEIGHBORHOODS BECAUSE THE ARCHITECTS OF THE PROGRAM WANTED TO BE SURE THERE WERE NO BARRIERS TO CREATING MORE P-TECH SCHOOLS EVERYWHERE.

THEY'VE EVEN PUT WHAT'S CALLED THE 'P-TECH PLAYBOOK' ONLINE, OPEN-SOURCE, TO MAKE THE MODEL ABLE TO BE REPLICATED ANYWHERE ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD.

AND DOZENS HAVE POPPED UP AROUND THE COUNTRY IN THE FOUR YEARS SINCE CLASSES STARTED HERE AT THE VERY FIRST P-TECH IN CROWN HEIGHTS, BROOKLYN.

WE WOULD HOPE THAT SOMEHOW THE HIGH EXPECTATIONS, THE CONTINUED CONNECTIVENESS THAT OUR STUDENTS AND FAMILIES ARE DISPLAYING AROUND RECEIVING THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE PAID INTERNSHIP, RECEIVING THE OPPORTUNITIES TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE COLLEGE CURRICULUM AT AN EARLY PACE, WOULD REALLY PAY OFF WITH MORE STUDENTS HAVING THIS OPPORTUNITY THROUGHOUT NEW YORK CITY, THROUGHOUT NEW YORK STATE, AND THROUGHOUT EVERY STATE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

THERE ARE NOW DOZENS OF P-TECH SCHOOLS AROUND THE COUNTRY, WITH MORE THAN 100 INDUSTRY PARTNERS -- THE TECH COMPANIES THAT WORK WITH LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND COMMUNITY COLLEGES TO ADAPT CURRICULUM, PROVIDE MENTORS, AND HELP COORDINATE INTERNSHIPS AND WORKPLACE VISITS.

P-TECH GRADUATES ARE NOT ONLY FIRST IN LINE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR JOBS AT THESE PARTNERING COMPANIES, BUT ALSO HAVE SKILLS FOR OTHER JOBS WITHIN OR BEYOND THE TECH INDUSTRY.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ONE TYPE OF JOB.

IF YOU LOOK AT THE GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES, THEY'RE FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE RIGHT KIND OF WORKPLACE SKILLS -- WRITING SKILLS, PRESENTATION, PROBLEM SOLVING.

AND THAT'S THE KEY OF WHAT P-TECH IS ALL ABOUT.

THEIR JOB MIGHT CHANGE.

IT PROBABLY WILL.

IT MIGHT CHANGE IN 3 YEARS OR 5 YEARS OR 10 YEARS.

BUT IF THEY'VE GOT THE SKILLS TO BE ABLE TO ADAPT, LEARN, AND GROW, THEN THEY'LL BE SUCCESSFUL.

WHEN I FIRST CAME, I DIDN'T MIND GOING TO TECHNOLOGY, BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH I DIDN'T THINK I WAS GONNA USE IT, I REALIZE NOW THAT I CAN ALWAYS USE IT, AND IT'S A GROWING INDUSTRY.

SOME KNOW VERY CLEARLY THAT THEY'RE NOT INTERESTED IN TECHNOLOGY AT ALL.

THEY MAY WANT LAW, THEY MAY WANT MEDICINE.

BUT TECHNOLOGY IS A PART OF EVERY INDUSTRY, AND SO THEY SEE THIS AS A STEPPING STONE.

P-TECH STUDENTS DO NOT HAVE TO PASS A TEST FOR ADMISSION.

THAT CREATES GEOGRAPHIC, RACIAL, AND ACADEMIC DIVERSITY, AND THAT'S BY DESIGN IN AN INDUSTRY THAT HAS BEEN CRITICIZED FOR BEING PREDOMINANTLY WHITE AND MALE.

AT P-TECH IN BROOKLYN, ABOUT 70% OF STUDENTS ARE BLACK AND HISPANIC YOUNG MEN.

KNOWING THE REALITY THAT BLACK AND HISPANIC MALES HAVE A LOWER GRADUATION RATE AND A LOWER COLLEGE COMPLETION RATE, IF WE ARE ABLE TO BE ABLE TO CREATE A CULTURE LIKE THIS WITH THAT DOMINANT SUBGROUP, IT REALLY IS AN INSPIRATION FOR OTHER AREAS THAT WANT TO TRY A P-TECH IN THEIR COMMUNITY.

EVERYBODY TALKS ABOUT THE FACT THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE COMING FROM POOR COMMUNITIES, LOW-INCOME BACKGROUNDS, CHILDREN OF COLOR, DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT OPPORTUNITY.

AND WE CAN'T TALK ABOUT IT.

WE HAVE TO GET THEM THE RIGHT SKILLS, AND THAT'S WHAT THIS WAS ABOUT.

MORE P-TECH PROGRAMS ARE IN THE WORKS AROUND THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD.

SOME CRITICS SAY THE MODEL HAS GROWN TOO BIG TOO FAST.

BUT LITOW SAYS THAT MENTALITY IS PART OF THE PROBLEM.

THAT'S THE ANTITHESIS OF INNOVATION IN THE UNITED STATES, WHICH HAS ALWAYS BEEN IF YOU'VE GOT SOMETHING CREATIVE AND DIFFERENT AND INNOVATIVE AND IT'S WORKING, YOU DON'T WAIT DECADES BEFORE YOU REPLICATE IT.

YOU MIGHT MODIFY IT, BUT YOU MOVE IT ALONG SO THAT A GOOD OPPORTUNITY IS BEING GIVEN TO A LOT OF PEOPLE.

AND YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO TAKE A RISK BY BEING ABLE TO EXPAND THIS, BECAUSE THE ALTERNATIVE OF DOING NOTHING IS JUST NOT ACCEPTABLE.

AFTER CRAWFORD GRADUATES, SHE WILL ATTEND THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA ON A TRACK SCHOLARSHIP.

SHE'LL BRING TWO THINGS FROM HER TIME AT P-TECH -- AN ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE IN TECHNOLOGY AND ONE VITAL LESSON.

I THINK THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL THAT P-TECH HAS TAUGHT ME IS NOT TO PROCRASTINATE.

BECAUSE IF YOU PROCRASTINATE AT P-TECH, IT NEVER GETS DONE, BECAUSE THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING ELSE TO DO.