John Paul the Great Catholic University Students Build Businesses in a Down Economy

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With the Unemployment Rate of Young Adults at 16.7%, JP Catholic Students Become Job Creators.

Students and faculty of JP Catholic

At JP Catholic, students and faculty team up to launch businesses.

With the problems of skyrocketing college debt and a paucity of post-graduate job opportunities, many are reevaluating the traditional model of higher education.

On November 12th, The Wall Street Journal reached out to its Facebook Page to get a pulse on the difficulties young adults are facing in the down job market. Among the avalanche of comments from discouraged job seekers, Journal writer Leslie Kwoh highlighted recent JP Catholic business graduate Joe Connolly’s positive solution: entrepreneurship. “I just graduated in September,” wrote Connolly, “found two business partners and am starting my own company. Entrepreneurship is what made America great, and if we want to be great again, have jobs, a good economy, etc., we need to go back to our entrepreneurial roots.” Construction on Joe Connolly’s craft brewery is nearly complete, and they recently secured their licensing from the State of California.

Joe Connolly is one among many John Paul the Great Catholic University graduates to launch their own ventures since the market crash in 2008. Accepting their first students in 2006, John Paul the Great Catholic University launched programs at the intersection of entertainment and entrepreneurship and is dedicated to being an authentically Catholic University at the center of the new media revolution. JP Catholic features a radically new education model: a rigorous liberal arts core education combined with hands-on training in business and media that focuses on practical application. College students graduating without marketable skills is currently a pervasive problem, contributing to unemployment rates among college graduates. Dominic Iocco, a successful entrepreneur who joined the faculty in 2007, was “tired of retraining college graduates” and found JP Catholic's radical, skill-based focus attractive.

Within 5 years of opening its doors, the small 160 student school has already incubated and launched a film studio, design firm, craft brewery, wedding videography business, and a web content management firm, which is nearing completion on a Catholic video streaming service. With the Occupy Wall Street movement highlighting the problems of skyrocketing college debt and a paucity of post-graduate job opportunities, many are beginning to reevaluate the traditional model of higher education. John Paul the Great Catholic University offers a positive solution: entrepreneurship.

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Martin Harold