State Board of Ed. secures grant to Prepare Students for Career Success

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has secured a $100,000 grant to develop a detailed action plan to better prepare students for the future.

State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D., says state officials are proud to have been selected for the career readiness grant and explains the funds and resources will build upon efforts to establish more accessible, career pathways in the state.

Illinois is among 24 states and the District of Columbia to secure grants for this mission through phase 1 of the New Skills for Youth grant opportunity. These grants are a part of a $75 million, five-year initiative develop by JPMorgan Chase, in partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and Advance CTE.

This grant opportunity builds on CCSSO’s Career Readiness Initiative, which launched in 2015. The initiative not only prepares students for college, but in-demand careers as well.

According to ISBE, many young people lack the education or training in high school and beyond to put them on track to pursuing in-demand careers. Officials say, by age 25, only half of younger Americans have a meaningful postsecondary credential that enables them to compete for good-paying jobs.

Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis says New Skills for Youth aligns with ISBE to address college and career readiness within a “holistic state system.”

Phase 1 of New Skills for Youth provides Illinois and the other selected states with a $100,000 six-month grant, along with 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 State will be eligible to apply for the phase 2 grant opportunity, which will require states to demonstrate the commitment and capacity to execute the action plans develop in phase 1.

More information about the New Skills for Youth grant opportunity or CCSSO’s Career Readiness Initiative can be found here.

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