Washington, D.C. (January 11, 2017) – The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. today announced $20 million in grants to 10 U.S. states to dramatically increase the number of students who graduate from high school prepared for careers. 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.
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.
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.
“The number of young people who graduate from high school without the necessary skills to compete is one of the greatest moral and economic inequities of our time,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase. “These investments will help states build career education programs that align with the needs of growing industries and give young people a chance to succeed.”
“These states are leading the way to improve career pathways for all kids through partnerships with communities, higher education and leaders in industry,” said CCSSO Executive Director Chris Minnich. “I applaud their efforts and look forward to working with these grantees and other states across the country as they continue to strengthen career preparation for kids.”
“Providing opportunities for all students to participate in high-quality career readiness programs is critical to their future success and the future of our country,” said Advance CTE Executive Director Kimberly Green. “I am thrilled at the progress made by these states and excited at the prospects this initiative offers for all learners and all states.”
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.
For all states, this is an opportunity to work across sectors and pull together stakeholders in business, industry, higher education and within communities to research what has worked and what career pathways are most needed for kids in their state.
These state grants are one part of the $75 million, five-year New Skills for Youth initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase, in collaboration with CCSSO, Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group, aimed at strengthening career-focused education starting in high school and ending with postsecondary degrees or credentials aligned with high-skill jobs. In recent years, more than 40 states have committed to transforming career education for all students. In March 2016, JPMorgan Chase and CCSSO awarded $100,000 grants to 24 states and the District of Columbia for planning and early implementation of long-term career readiness education programs that align with the needs of area employers. These states received targeted coaching and support to begin implementing these programs over the past year.
The grants awarded today represent the second phase of the New Skills for Youth initiative. All of today’s recipients were selected from the original 24 state grantees. These states will now leverage this additional grant funding to execute the career readiness-plans they developed during phase one of the initiative.
Delaware Secretary of Education Steven Godowsky:
“By earning industry-recognized credentials and college credits while in high school, our students graduate prepared for success. This grant supports the alignment of our education and workforce systems through the Delaware Pathways initiative.”
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin:
“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. 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.”
Kentucky Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt:
“We are excited to expand educational and economic opportunities for young people across Kentucky. The initial New Skills for Youth grant allowed us to really take stock of the career pathways we were offering to ensure students receive the skills, knowledge and credentials they need to compete for the hot jobs of the future. This second phase grant will allow us to dramatically increase opportunities for Kentucky students to complete rigorous and relevant Career and Technical Education programs and earn industry-recognized credentials that will prepare them for postsecondary success and high-skill, high-demand jobs in our state.”
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards:
“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. 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. This grant funding will advance our state's efforts to create a seamless system of career and technical education from secondary through post-secondary education, focusing on those industry sectors essential to Louisiana’s prosperity.”
Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White:
“The Louisiana Department of Education looks forward to utilizing the New Skills for Youth grant to expand Jump Start, the state’s premier career and technical education program. These additional funds will allow the state to build upon that program’s strong foundation by further increasing the opportunities and resources that enable our students to earn the credentials needed to attain employment in Louisiana’s most promising industries.”
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker:
“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. Lieutenant Governor Polito and I are honored that Massachusetts and the potential of our students will be recognized through this grant.”
Massachusetts Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester:
“I am thrilled that Massachusetts students will be among the beneficiaries of this generous grant. I look forward to continuing our collaboration with educators and industry to set students on a clear path toward their own career goals.”
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval:
“Nevada was hit harder than any state in the nation by the Great Recession. That’s why my strategic priorities when I took office were to build a vibrant and sustainable economy in addition to ensuring we have an educated and healthy citizenry. The New Skills for Youth grant is another wonderful resource that will help Nevada refocus and transform its economy.”
Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero:
“The New Skills for Youth grant will provide additional support to Nevada and ensure our students gain the skills necessary to compete for jobs in the emerging new Nevada economy. It ensures that our education system and other agencies across the state are aligned with the demands of industry and by working together there will be an increase in the number of students completing relevant and effective career pathways in high demand and high skill areas.”
Ohio Governor John Kasich:
“Getting kids excited about job opportunities can begin to capture their imagination. By connecting employers with qualified workers, we’re changing the lives of our students and strengthening Ohio’s economy.”
Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria:
“In Ohio, we want every student to see a connection between what they are learning and future career options. Ohio's Governor John Kasich observed that, ‘Getting kids excited about what the job opportunities are, when presented in an exciting way, can begin to capture their imagination.’ The New Skills for Youth grant will drive a comprehensive and strategic approach to excite and inspire every student about career opportunities and students' future success. Ohio's strong business and education partnership will have a tremendous new opportunity to expand the rich array of career-focused assets resulting in a deep impact on individual lives and the prosperity of our state.”
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin:
“A postsecondary degree, credential or certificate is the new minimum for success in the workforce. The New Skills for Youth Grant builds on my Oklahoma Works Initiative to align education to the needs of the workforce. Through increased cooperation between business and education stakeholders, the grant will put students on a pathway to provide Oklahoma’s employers with a future-ready workforce.”
Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister:
“As Oklahoma continues to recover from a recession, the $2 million in funding over three years will help us fast-track college- and career-readiness initiatives including redefining the senior year, securing braided funding and creating a career advising toolkit for Oklahoma students. We are grateful to be partnering with the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development, the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the business community and school districts around the state on this work that is so critical to our students’ success and future economic development in our state.”
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo:
“Rhode Island’s New Skills for Youth grant is intended to turn our bold vision for improving career readiness in K-12 education into a reality. We are honored to have been recognized for our vision to prepare Rhode Island students for good-paying jobs in our state’s leading industries. By creating pathways between our existing K-12, higher education and workforce development systems, we will meet the needs of our existing employers while also providing jobs that pay for Rhode Islanders.”
Rhode Island Education Commissioner Ken Wagner:
“We’re committed to offering students opportunities that will strengthen their educational foundation, including early college offerings, career-and-technical education programs aligned to industry standards, and hands-on learning experiences that will prepare them for success in the workforce of tomorrow. This grant affords a wonderful opportunity for us to accelerate our work and link high-quality programs to students that will have lasting benefits for our region and state."
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam:
“In Tennessee we know that education isn’t K through 12, it’s K through J – kindergarten to job. Through our Drive to 55 to equip 55 percent of Tennesseans with a college degree or certificate, we’re focused on getting students ready for college, into college, out of college and tying their education to workforce needs, and we’re seeing incredible results. We appreciate this investment from the Council of Chief State School Officers and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to continue our work to make sure Tennessee students are job ready."
Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen:
"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. 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."
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker:
“As we move forward, one of things we want to focus on is ensuring the next generation of Wisconsin workers possess the practical skills and knowledge they need to thrive in their careers. The New Skills for Youth grant helps jump start this process by helping students think about, plan for, and implement a strategy to reach their career goals at an early age. Thanks to the Council of Chief State School Officers and JPMorgan Chase & Co for this opportunity.”
Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers:
“One of my biggest priorities for Wisconsin schools is connecting educational experiences to the workplace. This grant gives us a chance to bring our education partners together with private businesses to build a structure that will benefit kids in whatever profession they choose. I want to thank JPMorgan Chase and our Wisconsin partners for their work to make this a reality.”
Through several targeted philanthropic initiatives, JPMorgan Chase is investing over $325 million in skills development around the world. In addition to the New Skills for Youth initiative, these investments include a separate five-year, $250 million global initiative called New Skills at Work to help fill the skills gap for employers and simultaneously provide adult workers with a real and tangible pathway to economic opportunity, as well as a $5.8 million effort to support summer youth employment programs for youth around the country.
New Skills for Youth also builds on CCSSO's Career Readiness Initiative, which is guided by the recommendations made in Opportunities and Options, a report of CCSSO's Career Readiness Task Force. The goal is to ensure that all students are not only college-ready, but also graduate from high school prepared for careers in high-skill, high-demand fields.
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress and the public.