By Kaylee Lindenmuth
HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY – Governor Tom Wolf, the Department of Labor & Industry, and Team Pennsylvania recently announced that $270,000 in Career Readiness Mini-Grants were awarded to 64 school districts across the commonwealth, including one in our area.
The North Schuylkill School District was named a recipient of one of the grants, which are intended to support an assortment of activities for students to learn about career opportunities, and to build stronger connections between schools and employers.
“These grants will enhance the collaborative efforts between the Pennsylvania education and workforce development systems, and help to create the bridge between school and real-world workplace experiences,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “We need to allow our students to explore their career options early, so that they are prepared and informed as they transition into the workforce and post-secondary education.”
The Department of Labor & Industry, in June, awarded a grant to Team Pennsylvania to fund career-readiness projects of up to $10,000 each.
“Labor & Industry is proud to fund and support these education-oriented career readiness projects,” said the department's Acting Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “These grants allow students to experience different industries in Pennsylvania, including high-demand industries with good, family-sustaining wages. Preparing our students for jobs that pay is a win-win for Pennsylvania’s economy.”
Team Pennsylvania partnered with the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units, along with various Intermediate Units across the commonwealth to review applications and select those awarded the grant.
“Pennsylvania’s 29 Intermediate Units are positioned to facilitate partnerships and connect schools throughout Pennsylvania to the programs and resources needed to support robust Career Awareness and Readiness activities that will engage students in developing meaningful career dreams that can become a reality,” said Dr. Linda Hippert, Executive Director of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Homestead, Allegheny County.
The grants were divided by nine regions, with $30,000 being awarded in each region.
The project intends to promote collaboration between the K-12 system and the workforce system on a micro-level.
Successful applicants are required to work with their local Workforce Development Boards and base their work on regional labor market needs.
The career readiness activities funded by the mini-grants include:
These career-readiness activities were created in support of the Department of Education’s initiative of expanding options for students to demonstrate their readiness for college, high-demand industries, or the military. The career readiness mini-grant project will identify best practices to share and replicate throughout the commonwealth.
North Schuylkill was one of two schools awarded the a grant in Schuylkill County, Saint Clair Area being the second.