As we considered our editorial agenda for the year we wanted it to reflect that existing disparities go beyond the school achievement gap.

There is a corresponding gap in preparing our young people for productive futures whether school or work. This week, the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, in partnership with the school district, the city, the county, United Way of Dane County, CUNA Mutual, Metcalfe’s Market and Youth Services of Southern Wisconsin, unveiled a plan to address that gap.

These groups have secured enough money to offer internships paying nine to 15 dollars an hour to 160 high school and college students. Included are more than 50 internships at over 20 local businesses, as well as others at summer camp programs and a special career exploration program.

Career exploration is what it’s all about…along with experience, resume building, and a summer paycheck. It’s proactive and smart and it’ll help this community reduce the opportunity gap and the disparities that result.