Fifteen Delaware high schools will share $500,000 in state grants to better prepare students in key job fields.
Gov. Jack Markell, D-Del, announced the money will be used to launch intensive programs this fall in fields that offer promising job opportunities in this changing economy. The fields are biomedical science, computer science, culinary arts and hospitality management and engineering.
The governor previewed the initiative called Pathways to Prosperity in his State of the State address in January.
“Every Delaware student must have access to an education that best prepares him or her for our changing world – a world in which it is more important than ever for our citizens to have the right skills,” said Markell. “Pathways to Prosperity is establishing the necessary partnerships with Delaware employers, universities, and school districts to prepare students for a bright future in high-demand fields and careers.”
Through this effort, students will take hundreds of hours of specialized instruction and receive hands-on training. They will also have the opportunity to graduate with workplace experience and college credits for courses that are most relevant to those industries – giving them a head start on getting a job and earning a degree.
Partnering with Delaware businesses as well as colleges and universities, the Dept. of Education is providing curriculum support for each pathway. The DOE is also training teachers to successfully implement the coursework.
“We are proud to support our school systems as they implement rigorous career and technical programs, and create opportunities for all children to find success after high school,” said Secretary of Education Mark Murphy, who is leading the state’s investment of its federal career and technical education funding to defray the cost of providing these programs.
“The turnaround time on developing a plan and applying for the grant was incredibly short, so I am extremely impressed with the districts that have shown the determination to provide these opportunities to their students as soon as possible,” said Markell. “Students across our state can benefit from workplace learning and high-quality training in growth industries and all of us will benefit from having our students ready for college and a career in the new economy.”
Pathways expands the accelerated career path program in manufacturing that the state launched this school year in the Colonial and New Castle County Vo-tech School Districts.
An additional $500,000 will be made available in the fall of 2015 to fund programs for the following school year.