Teaching Project Management Skills for Workforce Readiness

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114th Partnership receives $100,000 grant from the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation to Spark project management skills and interest among unemployed and underemployed young adults.

Our support of the 114th Partnership to integrate project management into Spark 101 better ensures young adults are prepared to pursue meaningful careers that add value to both their lives and the world in which we live.

The 114th Partnership announced the launch of the PMIEF – 114th Partnership Philadelphia Workforce Readiness Initiative, a program funded through a grant from the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF). The initiative, which will be piloted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will engage unemployed and underemployed young adults ages 16-25 in career challenges that teach project management skills and highlight project-intensive careers.

Since 2002, the 114th Partnership has worked with employers and educators to design, produce, and deliver real world “on-the-job” career challenges that encourage the application of standards-based academic skills in high-opportunity careers utilizing in-person and video formats through its Spark 101 program. Spark 101 includes high-quality educational resources proven to increase young people’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) engagement and STEM Pathway Readiness (a construct that includes awareness of STEM careers, how specific courses relate to STEM careers, and STEM problem-solving skills). A 2015 independent evaluation found that all students exposed to Spark 101 increased their STEM career awareness and skills, with significant positive effects on STEM engagement among students with little previous STEM understanding or interest. (For the complete evaluation, see “Using STEM Case Studies to Prepare Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs: An Evaluation of Spark 101 Interactive STEM Videos.”)

PMIEF recognizes that STEM and related careers necessitate project management capabilities because they are highly project based. According to the Project Management Institute’s Industry Growth Forecast report, 15.7 million new project management roles will be created globally across seven project-intensive fields between 2010 and 2020. The U.S. will boast the greatest number of these roles, especially within the business services, healthcare and manufacturing industries. Along with job growth, a substantial increase (USD$6.61 trillion) in the economic footprint of the field is expected.

The PMIEF grant supports the 114th Partnership to integrate project management into Spark 101 to help unemployed and underemployed young adults strengthen their project management capabilities, which are critical to 21st century workforce entry and success. The grant will fund the creation of a new, project management-rich Spark 101 video and accompanying lesson plans, which Philadelphia workforce development program staff and volunteers will pilot beginning in winter 2017. In addition, the PMIEF grant will fund the creation of project management-rich lesson plans and resources for five previously developed Spark 101 videos that focus on project-intensive industries.

“PMIEF recognizes the importance of helping unemployed and underemployed individuals acquire the skills necessary for successful workforce entry,” said Jeannette L. Barr, PMIEF Executive Director. “The global economy demands competencies like critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration that are inherent to project management. Our support of the 114th Partnership to integrate project management into Spark 101 better ensures young adults are prepared to pursue meaningful careers that add value to both their lives and the world in which we live.”

Jane Kubasik, founder and president of the 114th Partnership, agreed. “Each year millions of students leave high school without having had an opportunity to apply their academic skills to a real-world problem. Employers need options other than internships to introduce students to viable careers -- as well as the critical skills needed to sustain and advance within them,” she said. “With the help of PMIEF, we are excited to broaden our video library to help classroom and workforce educators integrate project management into their curricula and help more learners connect their passions to career pathways that integrate project management skills.”

The PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF) is a 501(c)(3) supporting organization of Project Management Institute (PMI), the world's leading not-for-profit professional membership association for the project, program and portfolio management profession. Founded in 1990, PMIEF develops implements and delivers innovative programs to leverage project management for social good globally. These include scholarships, awards and grants as well as educational resources that strengthen project management knowledge of teachers, youth and nonprofit organizations. PMIEF’s vision that “all people worldwide have a better tomorrow by applying project management skills in their daily lives” comes to the life through the generosity of individual and corporate donors as well as the PMI community. For additional information, visit http://www.pmief.org

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