News Release - Work-Ready High School Graduates?

Looking to Hire Certified Work-Ready High School Graduates?

Ten major companies* promised to give special consideration to high school graduates who have completed a rigorous system of academic and work-based learning experiences through the National Academy Foundation’s (NAF) certified hiring initiative (called NAFTrack Certified Hiring). NAF is a network of career-themed academies that open doors to viable careers for underserved high school students, particularly those from low-income families in large, urban high school districts.

NAF joined with 10 corporate partners to establish the NAF Student Certification Assessment System, which requires high school students to complete rigorous academic coursework, take an internship at a business that reflects their career interests, perform work-based learning projects, and pass industry-approved assessments of their academic proficiency and career-based skill sets. Certified graduates — those who successfully fulfill these requirements — will get preferred access to various career and job support services provided by the corporate partners, depending on each partner’s particular hiring processes and needs:

  • Pre-interview and resume support
  • Guaranteed interviews in equally qualified applicant pools
  • Potentially expedited advancement through the hiring process
  • Priority hiring among equally qualified applicant pools
  • Potential for higher starting salaries
  • Applicant feedback and coaching following a job interview
  • Paid internship opportunities while pursuing relevant postsecondary degrees
  • Encouragement to attend the postsecondary educational institutions where each of the companies recruit
Education Secretary Arne Duncan praised the companies for participating in the NAFTrack Certified Hiring program, saying, “With millions of unfilled jobs in this country, these kinds of partnerships between education and industry are key to closing the skills gap and improving how we train and prepare Americans for work.” NAF plans to expand the number of NAFTrack Certified Hiring partner organizations.

*AT&T, Cisco, EMC, HP, JPMorgan Chase, Juniper Networks, KPMG LLP, RBC Capital Markets US, Verizon, and Xerox

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