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Monday, December 20, 2010

utahfutures.org Celebrates 1 year Anniversary



Contact: Holly Braithwaite, Director of Communications
hbraithwaite@utahsbr.edu 801-321-7110

December 14, 2010

UtahFutures.org celebrates one-year anniversary with 324,000 users

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah’s free website for education and career planning -- UtahFutures.org – is celebrating its one-year anniversary by soliciting success stories from its 324,000 portfolio holders.

Any Utah resident can set up a portfolio and/or browse UtahFutures.org free of charge. Since its October 2009 launch, some 324,000 portfolios have been organized. Of those, some 280,000 are junior high and high school students. The remaining 44,000 are adult Utahns registered primarily through Workforce Services and Adult Education. The website has received nearly two million hits.

Utah is one of the few states in the nation where all major learning institutions and workforce training agencies use the same education and career-planning tool for their students and clients. This synergy allows for better education and career tracking through online portfolios that students carry from junior high all the way through college and careers.

Founding key partners of UtahFutures.org include the Utah State Office of Education, Utah System of Higher Education, Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority, Department of Workforce Services, Utah State Office of Rehabilitation and Gaining Early Awareness for Undergraduate Programs. The Utah State Library has since joined the partnership.

Students enrolled in UtahFutures.org begin making their education and career plans in 7th grade as part of their Student Education and Occupational Plan, which is required of all students. They build this electronic planner and portfolio through high school. Some colleges have also started using UtahFutures.org. The vision is for students to continue building their education and career plan/portfolio at Utah colleges and universities and the rest of their lives. At the Utah Department of Workforce Services, clients use Utahfutures.org to plan their education and career paths.

Now that Utahfutures.org has been operating for a year, the 324,000 portfolio holders are encouraged to submit individual success stories, which the site will share for kudos and inspiration. Suggestions for improvement and expansion are also encouraged.

The UtahFutures.org philosophy is that the best way to predict a positive future is to plan for it. Participants can:
· take career interest surveys

· learn about education and training programs all over the country

· figure out how much they need to earn to support their lifestyles

· find scholarships

· write resumes

· take free practice tests for college admissions

· learn all about financial aid and how to apply

· identify the past path for achieving career and education goals

Utah’s nearly 700 junior high and high school counselors and workforce training counselors can provide students customized education and career planning on UtahFutures.org. For example, they can direct students to more than a dozen assessment tools to identify career options, based on their interests and aptitudes.

Coming soon are business links to connect students with potential employers and internships. Businesses will also be able to identify school volunteer opportunities custom fit to them.

Additional information:

The following public education and Workforce Services counselors are available for interviews:

· Lynn Meek, Counselor, Lehi Junior High School
(801) 768-7010

· Kris Hart, Counselor, Mountain Crest High School
(435) 245-6093

· Dawn Stevenson, Counselor Coordinator, Utah State Office of Education

(801) 538-7851, Dawn.Stevenson@schools.utah.gov

· Shane Young, Workshop Trainer/Program Specialist, Workforce Services

(801) 370-6298, shaneyoung@utah.gov

· Vicki Fenton, Workforce Investment Act Youth Employment Counselor, Brigham City

(435) 734-4012, vfenton@utah.gov

About The Utah System of Higher Education: USHE includes all of Utah’s eight public colleges and universities: The University of Utah, Utah State University, Weber State University, Southern Utah University, Snow College, Dixie State College, Utah Valley University and Salt Lake Community College. For more information on the Utah System of Higher Education, visit our website at http://www.higheredutah.org .

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