The Baker-Polito Administration announced today that the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have selected Massachusetts as one of 10 states to receive a $1.95 million grant to strengthen and expand high-quality career-education pathways for students.
The grant, which will be distributed over the next three years, is part of the $75 million, five-year New Skills for Youth initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase in collaboration with CCSSO and Advance CTE and aims to strengthen career-focused education starting in high school and ending with postsecondary degrees and/or industry-recognized credentials aligned with high-skill jobs.
"Our administration has focused on aligning our K-12 schools and higher education system with the needs of our workforce so that our students, employers, and communities will share a stronger future," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Lieutenant Governor Polito and I are honored that Massachusetts and the potential of our students will be recognized through this grant."
"We thank JPMorgan, the Council of Chief State School Officers and other partners who have helped make this grant award possible," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "This New Skills for Youth grant complements our administration's prioritization of STEM-focused career education by developing more high-quality pathway programs and expanding the number of students who graduate from high school with college credits and real world experience."
"This important grant opportunity comes at an optimal time for the Commonwealth and perfectly aligns with our administration's career and technical education priorities for Massachusetts in this and coming years," said Secretary of Education Jim Peyser. "Creating high-quality career pathways will not only offer our students and their families more opportunities to succeed in school and in their careers, but also help strengthen the Massachusetts economy."
"Constant changes in technology and globalization make it imperative for the Commonwealth to increase opportunities for skill acquisition for all our students," Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald L. Walker, II, said. "This grant will help us continue the work of creating effective career on-ramps for younger workers through education pathways."
"I am thrilled that Massachusetts students will be among the beneficiaries of this grant," said Massachusetts Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "I look forward to continuing our collaboration with educators and industry to set students on a clear path toward their own career goals."
"This grant will have enormous impact for some of our neediest students," said Higher Education Commissioner Carlos E. Santiago. "We owe it to them to make sure that career exposure and training is integrated into a robust curriculum that will give them what every employer demands – a full box of workplace-ready tools, including quantitative reasoning skills, critical thinking skills, and the ability to write well, to work as part of a team and to lead."
Massachusetts has received the grant from CCSSO for the New Skills for Youth initiative after a rigorous review process, which included examination of the state's plan to transform the process of designing and developing career preparedness education programs.
- Launching a major competitive grant program to fund the creation of high-quality career pathways that fully prepare students for high-skill, high-wage careers;
- Developing a comprehensive career advisement system in partnership with the Massachusetts School Counselors Association so that all students can make more informed college and career choices; and
- Creating clear guidelines to help high schools develop and implement high-quality career pathways that will better prepare students for success after graduation.
"Preparing our youth for high-quality and in-demand careers is critical to the future strength of our communities," said Rick MacDonald, head of commercial banking in New England for JPMorgan Chase. "This investment will help to open more career pathways and give more young people the chance to learn, compete, and succeed."
"Bunker Hill Community College is committed to creating clear pathways to fulfilling careers for our students," said Bunker Hill Community College President Pam Eddinger, whose institution participated on the state team applying for the grant. "This grant will allow us to continue this important work through our partnerships with local businesses and corporations and well as high schools."
"As an employer, I know how critical career-focused education is, and it has been exciting to be part of the team pursuing this grant," said Susan Coghlin Mailman, president of Coghlin Electric Contractors, Inc. "I appreciate the coordinated effort that our state is putting forth in order to strengthen opportunities for our youth which will ultimately create a stronger and more qualified work force."
In March 2016, JPMorgan Chase and CCSSO awarded Massachusetts 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 employers. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia received Phase I grants.
The grant awarded today represents the second phase of the New Skills for Youth initiative, which provides 10 of the original 24 recipients with funding to execute the career-readiness plans they developed during the first phase.