Louisiana Awarded $2 Million to Improve Career Education

BATON ROUGE, La.- The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. on Wednesday announced Louisiana is one of 10 states to receive a three-year, $2 million grant through phase two of the New Skills for Youth (NSFY) grant opportunity to strengthen and expand career-education pathways for students.

“This New Skills for Youth grant will provide tremendous support for our state’s high school teachers and students in accessing high-quality workforce training, particularly in rural school districts and in support of our students with disabilities,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “I’m confident that Louisiana’s team of state and local education, economic development and workforce partners will make excellent use of these funds to dramatically improve the number of our young citizens prepared for college, career and life success.”

The phase two grant funds will be used to expand Jump Start, the state’s innovative career and technical education program, said State Superintendent of Education John White. “These funds will allow our state to build upon Jump Start’s strong foundation, expanding opportunities and resources that enable our students to earn the industry credentials they need to attain employment in Louisiana’s most important industries.”

Since the Jump Start program launched in 2014, Louisiana education and industry leaders have collaborated to develop 47 Jump Start graduation pathways for students, in numerous industry sectors. The phase two grant funds will help: fully implement the Jump Start program statewide; expand the types of pathways and resources available to students; train educators;create regional networks of workplace mentors for every Louisiana high school student; increase Jump Start opportunities for students with disabilities; and fund a sustained effort to coordinate high school and post-secondary career and technical education in Louisiana, among other initiatives.

The phase two grants are part of the $75 million, five-year New Skills for Youth initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase, in collaboration with CCSSO and Advance CTE. The goal of the NSFY initiative is to strengthen career and technical education starting in high school and culminating with postsecondary degrees or credentials aligned with high-skill jobs.

“This grant is an affirmation that Louisiana is a leader in creating career pathways for our students,” said John Kallenborn, market leader for JP Morgan Chase in Louisiana, a steadfast supporter of education in the state. “It’s imperative that we give our young people in Louisiana all the skills they need to achieve success and build a bright future for themselves and our communities.”

The phase two grant follows an initial $100,000 grant award given to Louisiana in March 2016. Louisiana was among 24 states and the District of Columbia to receive that phase-one funding to develop a detailed career readiness action plan. The state won the second round of grant funding by demonstrating its commitment and capacity to execute the action plans developed in phase one.

Louisiana’s application, and ultimate success, resulted from a statewide collaboration among Jump Start stakeholders, including representatives from the Louisiana Board of Regents; Louisiana Economic Development; the Louisiana Workforce Commission; the Louisiana Community and Technical College System; regional economic development organizations like the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Greater New Orleans, Inc. and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority; foundations like The Orchard Foundation; leading companies like Bollinger Shipyards and K-12 educators.

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