Kentucky receives $2 million grant to improve career education

01/11/2017 11:49 PM

FRANKFORT – The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced on Wednesday that Kentucky is one of 10 states that will receive a $2 million grant to strengthen and expand career education pathways for students.

The state grants, which will be distributed over the next three years, are part of the $75 million, five-year New Skills for Youth (NSFY) Initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase, in collaboration with CCSSO and Advance CTE. NSFY aims to strengthen career-focused education starting in high school and ending with post secondary degrees or credentials aligned with high-skill jobs.

Kentucky Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt says that the grant money will be used to incentivize school districts and communities to come together and collaborate on ways to better prepare students for jobs in growing high-tech fields.

“We’re coming together and saying, regardless of what we have done in the past, we know that business and industry say that we have these jobs that need to be filled,” Pruitt said. “We need to incentivize a different kind of conversation to drive that, rather than just driving the percentage of kids that graduate high school, or just driving to get to accountability.”

Hal Heiner, Secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet says that training students for 21st century high-tech jobs is not only important for the students but the Commonwealth of Kentucky as well.

“Kentucky’s future is all about skill and education of workforce,” Heiner said. “In order to make it into the middle class today you’re going to have to be able to leverage automation and technology for middle class and above jobs.”

In March 2016, JP Morgan Chase and CCSSO awarded Kentucky a $100,000 grant as part of the first phase of the New Skills for Youth Initiative for planning and early implementation of long-term career readiness education programs that align with the needs of Kentucky employers.

In total, 24 states and the District of Columbia received Phase I grants. The grant awarded Wednesday represents the second phase of the initiative, which provides 10 of the original 24 recipients with funding to execute the career-readiness plans they developed during the first phase.


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