Media Highlights

Youth CareerConnect Grant Recipients Announced

by Melanie Anderson   •  

We have more exciting career and technical education news to celebrate this week.

The White House recently announced Youth CareerConnect grant recipients, who will share a total of $107 million.

These grants will be awarded to partnerships of school districts, workforce investment boards, higher education institutions, community-based organizations and the private sector to help them redesign learning. The goal is to have more students graduating “with the knowledge, skills and industry-relevant education needed to get on the pathway to a successful career, including post-secondary education or a registered apprenticeship,” according to the White House.

The innovative program is itself a collaboration between the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor and is designed to encourage school districts to integrate classroom and work experience. 

Opportunity Nation enthusiastically supported these grants when they were first announced last fall. We are thrilled to learn more about the districts that will be on the front lines of these innovative partnerships.

The winners include:

Los Angeles Unified School District. LAUSD is receiving $7 million to build new career academies in six high schools that will focus on healthcare, biotechnology and other technology-related industries. The program is backed by 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 summer internships.

New York City Department of Education.  City schools will receive nearly $7 million to fund two new early college high schools similar to IBM’s P-TECH model. P-TECH is built on close collaboration among a leading employer, a school and a local community college, and offers high school students the chance to earn an associate’s degree in an in-demand field while they earn a high school diploma. The grant will also expand diesel mechanic registered apprenticeships to at-risk youth and create 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.

Metropolitan School District of Pike Township. This Indianapolis district is receiving $7 million to expand its career academies in advanced manufacturing and logistics. The district is working in partnership with Conexus, an advanced manufacturing collaborative, and EmployIndy, the workforce development organization for Marion County, to provide work-based learning opportunities for students. This partnership 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.

Opportunity Nation Steering Committee Member Jobs for the Future is receiving $4.9 million 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. 

More details on the YouthCareerConnect program and the full list of recipients can be found here.

Bills such as the Perkins Modernization Act of 2014 and the YouthCareer Grants recognize there is a widening skills gap in this country that must be addressed with high quality career and technical education programs.  Let’s continue to spread the word about this important path to success for young adults.


Melanie Anderson Melanie Anderson is the Director of Government and External Affairs at Opportunity Nation. She directs the campaign’s government relations and policy efforts. Read Melanie's bio.

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