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ORANGE COUNTY, CA-One hundred local companies, business organizations and public agencies joined forces Friday in kicking off the School Counts! Campaign at the annual Business-Education Partnership Conference held in Irvine.

With the goal of drawing connections between achievement in school and success in the workplace, the School Counts! effort is part of a national campaign that has been tailored to the Orange County area. Initiated by the National Alliance of Business, the Business Roundtable, the US. Chamber of Commerce, and nine other nationa lbusiness organizations, the campaign–also known as Making Academics Count–has the support of many prominent companies nationwide.

Employers participating in the program encourage high school students and graduates, as well as college graduates, to attach supplemental materials, such as school records, personal portfolios, and job- and academic-related documents, to their applications when applying for a job. Adding those documents will help students understand that what they learn in school does matter when going through the interviewing and hiring process.

The Orange County Coalition, the Workforce Investment Board, the Orange County Department of Education, and Vital Link Orange County has joined the Orange County Business Council in promoting the local effort.

Organizations involved in this program include: Ernst Young LLP, Marriott Hotels, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Shea Properties, Building Industry Association, the Southern California Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties and various chambers of commerce and public agencies.

School Counts! employers will begin requesting that student school records be attached to job applications starting in January.

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