An Indiana school district and college will receive a total of more than $10 million in funding through the federal Youth CareerConnect program. The initiative is designed to fund efforts to prepare high school students for higher education and a competitive work force.

April 7, 2014

News Release

Too few of America's students are meaningfully engaged in their academic experience while in high school, and many high school graduates lack exposure to learning that links their studies in school to future college and career pathways – especially in the critically important fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). President Obama has called for a comprehensive effort to rethink the high school experience for America's youth, challenging schools to scale up innovative models that personalize teaching and learning so that students stay on track to graduate with the knowledge and skills they'll need to succeed in college and in careers.

President Obama has made clear that he is committed to making 2014 a year of action by taking steps – both with Congress and on his own – to expand opportunity for all Americans. As part of achieving the President's vision to prepare all students for success in post-secondary education and in a competitive workforce, the U.S. Department of Labor, in collaboration with the Department of Education, has established Youth CareerConnect grant. This initiative encourages America's school districts, institutions of higher education, the workforce investment system, and their partners to integrate rigorous educational standards with work experiences and skills in ways that enhance instruction and deliver real-world learning opportunities for students. Across the country, 24 Youth CareerConnect awards will provide $107 million to local partnerships of local education agencies, workforce investment boards, institutions of higher education and employer partners as they re-design the teaching and learning experience for youth to more fully prepare them with the knowledge, skills, and industry-relevant education needed to get on the pathway to a successful career, including postsecondary education or registered apprenticeship.

Youth CareerConnect schools will strengthen America's talent pipeline by supporting stronger high school, postsecondary, workforce investment system, and employer partnerships that deliver:

•Robust Employer Engagement & Work-Based Learning: Youth CareerConnect awards will provide students with the education and training that combines rigorous academic and career-focused curriculum to increase students' employability skills. Employer partners will provide work-based learning, job-shadowing, and mentoring opportunities to ensure students' learning is relevant.

•A Focus on High-Demand Industries, Including STEM: Youth CareerConnect awards will create a pathway for students to enter high-demand industries such as information technology, healthcare, and other STEM-related and manufacturing fields. Grantees will ensure recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups including girls and minorities to expand the talent pool for these high-demand occupations.

•Integration of Post-secondary Education and Training: Youth CareerConnect awards will enable high school students to participate in education and training that leads to credit toward a post-secondary degree or certificate and an industry recognized credential, where appropriate.

Recipients of Today's CareerConnect (YCC) Grants

Today, President Obama will visit Bladensburg High School, one of three high schools included in the Prince George's County – Youth CareerConnect Program (PGC-YCCP) which is being awarded $7 million. Bladensburg offers several career academies with high school curricula aligned with college-level entrance requirements for Maryland's state university system. Through a collaborative effort with community partners, the school will expand the capacity of its Health & Biosciences Academy to better prepare more students for one of the region's highest growth industries. Students at Bladensburg who concentrate in health professions will be able to earn industry-recognized certifications in the fields of nursing and pharmacy; biomedical students will earn college credit from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the Rochester Institute of Technology. Through the YCC grant program, students will have access to individualized career and college counseling designed to improve the attainment of industry-recognized credentials and preparation for college-level course work. Students will also have the ability to receive postsecondary credit while still in high school and will have access to paid work experiences with employer partners such as Lockheed Martin. Overall, the PGC-YCCP will help prepare 2,500 graduates at Bladensburg and other schools across the county to succeed academically and graduate career-ready in the high-demand fields of information technology and health care.

Additional Youth CareerConnect (YCC) Grant recipients include the following:

•The Los Angeles Unified School District is receiving a $7 million grant to build out new career academies in six high schools that will focus on healthcare, biotechnology, and other technology-related industries. The program is backed by funding from the Irvine Foundation. The United Way of Greater Los Angeles, the workforce investment system, and the Chamber of Commerce will help provide work-based learning opportunities to students, including 10,000 student summer internships.

•The New York City Department of Education is receiving a nearly $7 million grant to fund two new early college high schools similar to IBM PTECH models that offer associate's degrees while still in in high school. The grant will alsoexpand diesel mechanic registered apprenticeship to opportunity youth andcreate a dental hygienist apprenticeship in partnership with the Consortium for Worker Education and modify 10 career and technical education programs to offer college credit and counseling.

•Clinton, South Carolina, is receiving a $6.8 million grant to reshape three high schools to prepare students for skilled jobs in computer science and engineering. Each school will restructure its instructional calendar to expand individual learning time, work with corporate partners to design project-based learning experiences modeled on real-world challenges, and align curricula with Piedmont Technical College and Midlands Technical College so students can earn postsecondary credits and credentials before graduating.

•The Metropolitan School District of Pike Township in Indianapolis is receiving a $7 million grant to expand its career academies in advanced manufacturing and logistics, working in partnership with Conexus, an advanced manufacturing collaborative, and EmployIndy to provide work-based learning opportunities. The grantee will also expand STEM academies, working with the National Society of Black Engineers, Women in Technology, and the Indiana Girls Collaborative to ensure these programs are resulting in a more diverse STEM workforce.

•Jobs for the Future is receiving a $4.9 million grant to expand and implement rigorous and engaging career pathway models that take young people from 9th grade through industry credentials and an associate's degree in high demand fields. The grant will fund pathways in three regions across Massachusetts, focusing on information technology, advanced manufacturing, and health care.

•The Denver School District is also receiving received nearly $7 million to create and expand STEM pathways in eight schools. Students will participate in a paid internship or job shadow and complete a capstone project that demonstrates how they applied the skills and knowledge learned in the classroom to their workplace-based learning experience. Denver will also work with workforce investment partners to provide caree

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