Nevada Secures Grant to Develop Bold Plan to Improve Career Preparation Systems for Young People

Press Release


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Greg Bortolin
775.687.9201

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Carson City, NV - March 30, 2016

Immediate Release

CARSON CITY, NV – The Nevada Department of Education today announced it has secured a $100,000 grant to develop a detailed career readiness action plan, which is an essential step to expanding economic opportunity for young people across our state.

Nevada is among 24 states and the District of Columbia that secured grants for this work through phase one of the New Skills for Youth grant opportunity. The grants are one piece of a $75 million, five-year initiative developed by JPMorgan Chase, in partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and Advance CTE, aimed at increasing economic opportunity for young people by strengthening career-focused education, starting in high school and ending with postsecondary degrees or credentials aligned with business needs.

This grant award increases national and statewide awareness of Nevada’s Career Readiness Project and advances Nevada’s credibility as a locus of vital economic growth,” said Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction, Steve Canavero, Ph.D. “I am proud to receive this award on behalf of all Nevadans. It honors the demonstrated will and capacity of Nevadans to improve opportunities for all Nevada youth to prepare for highly-skilled, well-paid jobs in the New Nevada.  

Today, too few young people are receiving the education or training in high school and beyond that would put them on a track to qualify for these careers. By the age of 25, only about half of young Americans have a meaningful postsecondary credential that enables them to compete for good jobs, and the U.S. youth unemployment rate is more than double the national rate.

Through phase one of New Skills for Youth, Nevada and other selected states will each receive a $100,000 six-month grant, in addition to expert technical assistance and peer support from other grantees, to perform a diagnostic assessment of their career preparation system and prepare for implementation of a new action plan. 

The New Skills for Youth grant promotes the Nevada Ready! Goal of Career Readiness for all students.   The Career Readiness Project will scale up career preparation programs (Career Pathways) for Nevada youth, aligning them to current and future employer needs.  Resources and technical support from the grant will assure that the education-workforce pipeline is well-designed and contributes to the continued economic growth of the State.

“States across the country are adjusting their career readiness programs to ensure they adequately prepare students for their next step after graduation,” said Chris Minnich, executive director of CCSSO. “States have seized this grant opportunity to pursue bold plans for pathways that will put kids on a course for success after high school and beyond.”

“We must address the youth career crisis, and it starts in our schools,” said Chauncy Lennon, Head of Workforce Initiatives, JPMorgan Chase. “These grants kick start an effort to ensure career and technical education systems are better aligned with the needs of business and leaders throughout states that are committed to tackling youth employment.”

An independent advisory committee recommended phase one grant recipients after a rigorous review process that considered states’ proposed plans, cross-sector partnerships, and demonstrated commitment and capacity to transform their systems of career preparation according to the grant guidelines.  In the judgment of the advisory committee, the selected states showed promise in their career readiness plans and indicated strongly that this work is a priority for them.

Nevada and the other phase one planning grant states, will be eligible to apply for the phase two grant opportunity, which will require states to demonstrate the commitment and capacity to execute the action plans developed in phase one.

This grant opportunity builds on CCSSO's Career Readiness Initiative, launched in 2015 to help close the skills gap in this country. The goal is to ensure that students are not only college-ready, but that all children also graduate from high school prepared for careers.

CCSSO’s work has been guided by the recommendations made in Opportunities and Options, a report of CCSSO’s Career Readiness Task Force.

The report encourages states to make high school programs more responsive to the labor market by enlisting the employer community as a lead partner; significantly raise the threshold for quality career pathways in secondary schools; and make career preparation matter to schools and students, in part by expanding accountability systems to emphasize career readiness.

For more information on the New Skills for Youth grant opportunity or CCSSO’s Career Readiness Initiative, visit http://www.ccsso.org/Resources/Programs/Career_Readiness_Initiative.html

 

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