Roger Cook, the superintendent who retired from a Kentucky district with multiple years of zero dropouts, began talking to his students early on about how cool it would be to work in his school district. This was not just a line, he really made it exciting to work in his district.

I interviewed 25 of his staff while writing my books and each and every one of them got a smile on their face when they spoke about working there, He began building his pipeline very early with his students. While we were at dinner one night, a young lady came up and introduced herself as a junior in education at one of the state universities. She said she could not think of a better job than to come and work for Mr. Cook after she graduated.

In this age of limited resources building a pipeline is just as essential as hiring and training effective staff. In their article on building a better pipeline in Harvard Business Review, Joiselle Cunningham and Angela Jackson talk about recruiting and developing talent for a more diverse workforce.

If young people of color continue to be overburdened with debt and are not provided with a fair chance to gain the skills they need to pursue their interests, companies and communities will lose out on their talent, passions, and contributions. Supporting young people and their aspirations can build the inclusive economy that our nation needs.

This is particularly true for educational organizations since (for a number of reasons) we are not always the first career choice for talented individuals. Isn’t it time to develop a pipeline of talented students who will be enthusiastic about a career in education?

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