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The Common Denominator: Students Need Stronger, Different Skills to Thrive
Children in a classroom



TIES Collaborates with IBM SkillsBuild to Offer Solutions for Educators

By Jan Morrison
Founder and CEO, TIES

At a late March 2023 meeting at a school just outside of Youngstown, Ohio, K-12 district leaders, classroom educators, representatives from business, industry, local philanthropy and government joined together to discuss how they could partner to improve STEM education. They all came with different ideas, strategies and motivations. 

The one common denominator: They all recognized that students of today need to strengthen their skills to be ready for tomorrow’s economy.

In Alabama, a statewide meeting of leaders from education, business and government has concluded that Alabama’s future lies in the importance of a comprehensive strategy for STEM, integrating formal classrooms to workforce development initiatives, skills building and local business and industry. 

Ohio and Alabama are not alone. Leaders across the country and world are grappling with identifying and implementing strategies that will prepare learners to thrive with skill sets and mindsets needed for the 21st century.

As the co-founder and convener of the global STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice, TIES is on the frontline of facilitating many of these conversations among diverse stakeholders seeking strategies to best prepare learners. 

When TIES was introduced to IBM SkillsBuild, a free education program that helps adult learners, teachers, and high school students develop valuable new skills and access career opportunities, we realized its potential for meeting so many of the goals and hopes that our nation’s education and workforce leaders have been sharing with us.

TIES is collaborating with IBM SkillsBuild to prepare and train high school educators to implement IBM SkillsBuild for students in school districts across the country.

TIES and IBM will equip K-12 teachers nationwide with no-cost STEM education and career readiness resources via IBM SkillsBuild, helping students develop valuable new skills in STEM. As part of this collaboration, TIES is working directly with a cohort of teachers to introduce them to IBM SkillsBuild and to strengthen their understanding of the changing nature of our economy and the skillsets and mindsets that will be required for success in it.

Focused on underrepresented communities in tech, IBM SkillsBuild offers more than 1,000 courses in 20 languages on cybersecurity, data analysis, cloud computing, and many other technical disciplines — as well as in workplace skills such as Design Thinking. 

The first TIES cohort of educators launched in mid-April with educators from across the country being guided through the program. Other cohorts will follow throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall of 2023.  Through the cohort, educators are working with one another and with TIES’ and IBM staffers to identify topics within IBM SkillsBuild that will have the most relevance for their learners and then to develop needed strategies for bringing the content to those students.

More details about the cohorts and information for applying here.