The Council of Chief State School Officers and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have announced grants totaling $20 million to ten states to increase the number of students who graduate from high school prepared for twenty-first century careers.
Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Wisconsin were each awarded $2 million over three years to work with business and education leaders to strengthen career education and create pathways to economic success for young people. Awarded through JPMorgan Chase's five-year, $75 million New Skills for Youth initiative, the grants will support states' efforts to transform how career preparedness education programs are designed and provide young people with the skills they need to compete for high-skill well-paying jobs.
The ten states were among the twenty-four states and the District of Columbia that received planning grants of $100,000 each last March to begin implementing long-term career readiness education programs. The unemployment rate for young people between the ages of 16 and 24 currently stands at 9.3 percent, with many more youth underemployed in part-time or low-wage jobs. Two-thirds of the millions of well-paying jobs projected to be created over the next decade will require some postsecondary education.
"Our work in K-12 education is to prepare students for success beyond our classrooms, and Tennessee is fully committed to strengthening postsecondary and workforce readiness for all students," said Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen. "Funding from this grant will allow us to expand opportunities for students to access early postsecondary opportunities that can equip them for jobs and open doors for them as they graduate from high school, particularly in rural or economically distressed areas and in expanding industries. The grant will also better equip our state to invest more in research and analysis to ensure we are learning from what works and using evidence-based practices to drive students' success."