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Generaton Y bother?

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Editorial: Sept. 8, 2013

ISSUE: Work ethic program enrollment

OUR VIEW: Low participation indicative of program’s necessity

Friday, Aug. 30, was the deadline for students to enroll in Hardin County School’s new work ethic certification. Of 975 seniors eligible to participate this year, 195 enrolled. It’s good to see nearly 200 HCS seniors had the impetus to sign up for what promises to be a very worthwhile experience in their final year of high school.

On the other hand, having only 20 percent of senior class members register is indicative of the need for such a program in the first place.

Calling it a “win-win” for the school district and business community when announcing the program earlier in the year, HCS Superintendent Nanette Johnston outlined several key criteria its curriculum will feature. Students who successfully complete the course provided by Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana will navigate through seven sessions focusing on a set of work ethics highly valued by employers. These “Great Eight” ethics, as Johnston calls them, include attendance and timeliness; personal responsibility and accountability; academic performance; work habits and persistence; punctuality, preparedness and organization; respectful interactions and communication; cooperation and teamwork; and community service.

Not only are these ethics valued, most any hiring manager or business owner will point to them as non-negotiable necessities.

Often in today’s workplace employees exhibit too few of the work habits and behaviors for their own individual long-term success, or for their employer’s competitive success for that matter.

Successfully instituting programs such as this can play an important role in the total educational process for today’s students to establish a more effective workforce force tomorrow.

Johnstonsaid the district understands instilling strong work ethic habits in its students will not happen overnight. This is true. Although the district said it hoped for better enrollment numbers this year, that won’t happen overnight either.

As we’ve said before, HCS is to be commended for developing this education option. The 19 local businesses and industrial manufacturers that have signed on or expressed a desire to participate are worthy of recognition, too, for stepping forward to make the program as successful as possible. Neither the district nor these businesses should be disheartened by the first year enrollment. Whether entering what will continue to be a very competitive job market, or moving on to continued education at the college level, the 20 percent of seniors who’ll participate, complete their portfolio requirements through the course and earn a work ethic certification seal on their diplomas have the opportunity to be a step ahead of their classmates.

As they do, we congratulate those who had the work ethic and motivation to give the program their attention and participation. Enjoy and learn from the experience.

You – and your future employer – will be glad you did.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.