BIRMINGHAM - Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday announced her new education initiative: “Strong Start, Strong Finish” at Innovation Depot in Birmingham.

The “Strong Start, Strong Finish” education initiative will focus on three stages of education: 1) early childhood education, 2) computer science in middle school and high school, and 3) workforce preparedness.

“Alabama needs a comprehensive approach of collaboration that improves education from Pre-K to the workforce. That’s the goal of Strong Start, Strong Finish,” Governor Ivey said. “Our educational system has not received the positive spotlight it deserves. Under Strong Start, Strong Finish, we will bring all stakeholders to the table and provide coordination that will help students succeed in school and after they graduate.”

The “Pre Through 3” plan ensures that every child has a strong start to their educational experience. It will involve developmentally-appropriate policies that will strengthen and support education from pre-K through the third grade (“P-3”). The ultimate goal is that every student has a strong reading foundation by at least the third grade.

Through the “CS for AL” part of the initiative Governor Ivey will establish a unified vision for the statewide expansion of computer-science education. It will bring coding and computer science opportunities to all middle and high schools. In Alabama, 4,600+ computing jobs are available today, and it will be one of the biggest job growth areas in the coming decade. The average annual salary for an employee in a computer science (CS) field is over $82,000.

The final stage of the initiative is “Advanced Training, Better Jobs”. By 2020, 62% of jobs available in Alabama will require some form of postsecondary education. Today, only 37% of our workforce meets those criteria. Governor Ivey will address the education-attainment gap by developing policies and promoting programs that equip citizens with the skills and education needed to fill high-demand jobs.

More information is available at http://governor.alabama.gov/priorities/education.

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