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Kentucky receives $2M grant to prepare high school students to be career ready

10 states awarded grants

NEW YORK (Jan. 11, 2017) — Kentucky is one of 10 states to receive a $2 million grant from the The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to increase the number of students who graduate from high school prepared for careers.

Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Wisconsin will each receive $2 million over three years to expand and improve career pathways for all high school students.

Developed as part of JPMorgan Chase’s $75 million global New Skills for Youth initiative, each winning state will work with government, business and education leaders to strengthen career education and create pathways to economic success.

“If we are to achieve our goal of making Kentucky the hub of excellence in engineering and manufacturing in America, we must work diligently to be more economically competitive,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “Ensuring we have the most highly skilled and well trained workforce is critical to this effort. The current shortage of skilled workers, makes it difficult for Kentucky employers to create and expand their businesses. This grant will ensure career and technical education is better aligned with the needs of employers and business leaders. This, in turn, will bring about increased economic prosperity for both current and future generations of Kentuckians.”

An independent advisory committee recommended the states to receive grants from the New Skills for Youth initiative after a rigorous review process. These 10 states demonstrated the strongest plans to work across sectors to transform how they design and develop career preparedness education programs and provide young people with the skills they need to compete for high-skill, well-paying jobs. They have also committed to bring together education leaders, business partners and community partners to set ambitious benchmarks for achieving these goals.

Too many students leave high school without being prepared for college or a career. Nationwide, the unemployment rate for young people ages 16-24 is 9.3 percent, with many more working only part-time or in low-wage jobs with little opportunity to advance. At the same time, the U.S. economy is projected to produce millions of well-paying jobs over the next decade, about two-thirds of which will require some post-secondary education but not necessarily a four-year college degree.