President Obama announces $100 million in Youth CareerConnect Grants•
In a new effort to ensure more high school students are prepared for 21st century jobs that require higher levels of skills and training and to address the growing skills gap facing employers, President Obama has announced a new $100 million competitive grant program that will be overseen by the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor.
Opportunity Nation enthusiastically supports these Youth CareerConnect Grants. The grant program aligns with our Shared Plan: Restoring Opportunity To Young Adults. The program acknowledges the need for high-quality, multiple pathways for high school students, seeks to engage and prepare young people for good-paying jobs and promotes cross-sector partnerships.
The grants are intended to encourage school districts, post-secondary institutions and workforce investment systems to launch innovative high schools focused on combining academics with career-focused learning and job skills.
Grantees will provide students with internship opportunities, individual academic and career counseling and the chance to earn post-secondary degrees, credentials and credits while still in high school. The high schools will also work closely with local businesses and employers to develop programs and hands-on learning opportunities.
Approximately 24 to 40 schools will be funded by these grants, scheduled to go into effect for the 2014-2015 school year.
There will be a requirement for applicants to secure private matching funds of at least 25 percent to receive their grant. Applicants must include, at a minimum, a local education agency, a local workforce investment system entity, an employer and an institution of higher education.
The Youth CareerConnect Grants are based on the $300 million high school redesign initiative the President outlined in his State of the Union address earlier this year.