Nine Network Takes the Lead on National Public Media Initiative to Access Workforce Challenges
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St. Louis, MO — February 15, 2018 — The Nine Network has been named the national leader of the next phase of an initiative to keep young people on the path to success in school and life. Through American Graduate: Getting to Work, Nine will work with local, trusted community leaders in St. Louis, St. Louis County, and surrounding Missouri and Illinois communities to assess workforce challenges and opportunities to improve local economies.

Nine’s national work on American Graduate: Getting to Work includes managing the work of 18 public media organizations as they engage their local communities in addressing the skills gap. A goal is to reframe the narrative around good-paying middle-skills jobs and nontraditional career pathways after high school, so that the general public will see the value in pursuing these careers.

This work is Phase Three of the national/local American Graduate initiative launched in 2011 to address the nation’s dropout crisis. One goal of American Graduate: Getting to Work is to connect young adults, ages 16-26, with resources that help them access training and education that can lead to gainful employment.

“The American workforce is on the precipice of a paradigm shift. With the increased cost of college and the lack of skilled workers who are ready to enter the workforce, America is fundamentally unprepared for our next generation of workers. As the lead station of American Graduate Phase Three, we are uniquely positioned to address this challenging issue,” says Jack Galmiche, president and CEO, Nine Network of Public Media.

As a community institution that builds trust, the Nine Network can amplify the issues and opportunities around the economy and the high unemployment rate for young adults. The Nine Network will create content that fosters awareness of the skills needed for high-demand jobs that do not require a four-year degree. The goal is to illuminate pathways to gainful employment, including credentialing, community college and career training.

Over the past six years of American Graduate, public media stations across the country forged community connections and innovative partnerships to help improve student outcomes, substantially contributing to an increase in the national high school graduation rate to an all-time high of 84 percent.

About the Nine Network of Public Media

The Nine Network of Public Media is a multifaceted organization creating a network of individuals and organizations empowered by public media to strengthen civic life. One of the nation’s most watched public television stations, Nine Network offers the people of the St. Louis region multiple ways to explore the world and become engaged in civic life. Nine’s platforms include four distinct broadcast channels (Nine PBS, Nine World, Nine Create and Nine PBS KIDS), the Nine Center for Public Engagement, the Public Media Commons, social media, and multiple websites accessible at Nine Network’s rich legacy of serving the community was launched in 1954 and continues through our vision of a strong and healthy community working together through public media and our mission of igniting the spirit of possibility.

About American Graduate

American Graduate is public media’s long-term commitment to supporting community-based solutions to help young people succeed in school, career and life. Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), more than 125 public television and radio stations have joined forces with over 1,700 partners to elevate the stories of youth and the supportive adults that help them succeed. Through American Graduate, public media, with its unique position as a trusted resource and important partner in local communities, provides a critical platform to shine a light on pathways to graduation and successful student outcomes. National and local reporting, on air and online is helping communities understand the challenges and community-driven solutions associated with education and future successes. Public forums, town halls and community conversations are activating discussions between community leaders, educators and more.