The Quincy Promise — a four-year pilot program announced in August 2015 — makes no bones about it, its goal is to develop a better educated workforce for the economic betterment of the city.
“When we make business visits, nearly every CEO tells us they can’t find enough people with the new technical skills they need to grow,” said Marcel Wagner, president of the Great River Economic Development Foundation. “If we can deliver more qualified graduates with the right technical skills in the areas of manufacturing, welding, electrical, healthcare and agriculture for example, it’s a win for everyone. Individuals will benefit from solid pay and benefits, companies can grow and our economy will be stronger.”
So it was the business community that pulled together the funds to make the program possible for four years, beginning with the high school class of 2016. In addition to meeting deadlines for admission and financial aid, Quincy high schoolers in the program must declare a major, maintain satisfactory academic standing, meet with John Wood Community College career services and connect with employers during job fairs.
“These companies are literally investing in the promise of Quincy,” said Mayor Kyle Moore. “We have talented young people, who can get the new skills needed to land great paying jobs right here in our area. This is about growing and retaining the future workforce.”
The announcement celebrated educational heritage month as a component of the City of Quincy’s 175th anniversary.