Utah already is home to more than 100 medical device and supply companies, and that number is growing. With USA Funds’ support, several state government agencies, colleges and universities, and industry partners are working together to develop an educational pathway for high school students. This pathway will include both coursework and work experience that links students to relevant postsecondary education and ultimately to employment in the medical innovations field.
Students begin the program in high school, then transition to a community college curriculum. Participating students also engage in internships and job shadowing experiences with life-science companies that are participating as partners with the state in the program. Students who complete the program, and pass pre-employment requirements, are certified to begin work with one of the medical innovations firms participating in the program.
The initiative is a partnership of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Utah State Board of Education, three school districts and more than a dozen life sciences companies. The Medical Innovations Pathways initiative is modeled on a highly successful pathways program that prepares Utah students for careers in aerospace manufacturing. The initiative also aligns with USA Funds’ focus on connecting postsecondary education and training to rewarding careers and fulfilling lives.