Nevada is one of only 10 states that will receive a $2 million, three-year grant from a J.P. Morgan Chase initiative that aims to dramatically increase the number of students who graduate from high school prepared for careers.

The New Skills for Youth program, conducted in partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers, Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group, awarded the money to states that are making strides towards building a strong career pathway for high school students. Thus highlighting Nevada’s determination to improve the education system and economy.

It was a rigorous selection process that began in early 2016 with phase one of the project. Nevada won a $100,000 grant to conduct an assessment of the career preparation system and prepare for implementation of a new action plan.

For phase 2 the Nevada Department of Education commissioned independent think tank, The Guinn Center, to complete a needs assessment. Through interviews, focus groups and data analysis they produced a needs assessment analysis, and prepared a 3-yr action plan to support Nevada’s New Skills for Youth Grant application.

The detailed evidence and strong collaborative effort from a myriad of partners was presented before a panel in Washington DC. The panel decided in favour of Nevada’s application, with only 10 of the 36 States winning funding.

With Nevada being one of the states hardest hit by the economic downturn, there were many job losses which made it difficult for many younger people to find employment. This grant will help to increase student preparedness for work life. In a statement, Gov. Brian Sandoval said the “The New Skills for youth grant is another wonderful resource that will help Nevada refocus and transform its economy”. The successful grant application is testament to the collaboration and hard work of so many groups within Nevada and will drive future youth employment and the economy. It will be exciting to see Nevada reap the benefits over the coming years.

 

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About the Author: Dan Turner

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