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Project Idaho: Education and employability

President and CEO of Idaho Business for Education Rod Gramer he hopes the study can help Idaho reach it's goal of more high school graduates going on to college. (File Photo)

Over the next several months Idaho Business for Education and Hewlett-Packard are working on a comprehensive study to determine where Idaho education stands and how it can improve.

It's the first time HP has done this kind of study in the United States.

Researchers will analyze the growth potential in Idaho and the workforce needed to support that growth. They'll work to determine the strengths and weakness through online surveys, focus groups and personal interviews with teachers, parents, policy makers and business leaders.

President and CEO of Idaho Business for Education Rod Gramer he hopes the study can help Idaho reach it's goal of more high school graduates going on to college.

"Research shows that Idaho needs about 60 to 70 percent of our workers to hold a post secondary credential and right now we're at 42 percent so we have a large gap between the workforce we have now which is one of the lowest educated work forces in the country and the workforce that we need for the 21st century," Gramer said. "We need more kids more students to go on and get some kind of credential after high school it can be a workforce ready certificate, two year associates degree, four year degree and we're also the most under physician'd state in the united states so we actually need more doctors too."

He says that graduating from high school used to mean you could get a pretty good middle class job in Idaho but the bar is now higher because the nature of the workforce has changed.

Gramer says they hope to complete the study in June so that they can make some recommendations to the governors new education task force.

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