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January 15, 2013   Email to Friend 

Mary Johnson
January 15, 2013

Gov. Robert Bentley visits with students at the Shelby County School of Technology in Columbiana after signing a proclamation on the establishment of a College and Career Ready Task Force.

COLUMBIANA, Ala., Jan. 15, 2013 — Gov. Robert Bentley and leaders representing Alabama education, businesses and the legislature reinforced their commitment to preparing students for the workforce by announcing development of the College and Career Ready Task Force during a press conference Tuesday at the Shelby County School of Technology (SOT) in Columbiana.

Comprised of education and business representatives from across the state, the task force will pinpoint necessary skills for today's workplace and develop new programs to train students effectively.

"Much of this is already being done across the state, and all we're trying to do is organize and bring everybody together," Bentley said. "The result is that more students will be college- or career-ready, and more people will be able to find a good, well-paying job in Alabama."

The governor, who was raised in Columbiana, praised the SOT as an excellent example of career education in action. Alabama State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice said the task force will help the state board in reaching its goal of a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020.

"One of the greatest challenges in meeting the aggressive (graduation rate) goal, and one that is paramount in this task force that's being formed today, is developing a shared definition of what (an Alabama) graduate looks like, a definition that is shared not only by K-12 and post-secondary but equally by higher education, business and industry," Bice said. "We're excited that (the task force can provide) a clear target of where we want to move as a state."

Alabama Farmers Federation's Young Farmers Director Jennifer Himburg will serve as a member of the task force. Co-chairs of the task force are Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey; Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn; Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston; and Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield.

The first meeting of the task force is expected to take place in February.

For the press realease from the governor's office, go to http://governor.alabama.gov/news/news_detail.aspx?ID=7485.

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