IBM Expanding Successful P-TECH School Model

February 03, 2017

To better prepare the workforce for "new collar" jobs (i.e., jobs with a technology focus that do not necessarily require a traditional four-year degree) being created in the dynamic global labor market, IBM plans to expand its innovative P-TECH school model by partnering with governors, educators, and other businesses to create at least 20 new P-TECH schools in 2017, bringing the total to 80 schools.  These are six-year public high schools that combine a relevant traditional curriculum in STEM disciplines with necessary skills from community colleges, mentoring and real-world job experience.  Diane Gherson, Chief Human Resource Officer for IBM, said, "P-TECH is building national and international momentum, with hundreds of businesses and educators teaming up to bring this innovative six-year education model to their communities.  Some of these graduates take jobs with IBM, mostly in new collar positions, while others pursue their bachelor's degrees.  The IBM-inspired P-TECH schools prepare students for the new economy with skills to succeed in college and new collar careers."  The first of these schools—called Pathways in Technology Early College High School, or P-TECH—opened five years ago in Brooklyn.  It has achieved graduation rates and successful job placement that rival elite private schools, with 35 percent of students from the first class graduating one to two years ahead of schedule with both high school diplomas and two-year college degrees.  The program has grown significantly with about 250 large and small companies now affiliated with P-TECH schools, including Motorola and Verizon.  The announcement of the expansion of the highly successful program came as part of an op-ed Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO of IBM, penned for the December 13, 2016 edition of USA Today in which she discussed the nation’s need to fill "new collar" jobs which remain largely unfilled in technology-related sectors.  IBM alone intends to hire about 25,000 professionals in the next four years in the United States - 6,000 of those in 2017—and plans to invest $1 billion in training and development of U.S. employees in the next four years.