Delaware receives $2 million grant for job training

From right, Melissa Reynolds with Education Strategy Group talks with Automotive Tech students Roseanna Smith, P.J. Mitchell, Zach Matt and Joseph Herriman after the Pathway To Prosperity conference at Polytech on Wednesday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

WOODSIDE — Delaware has received a nearly $2 million grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Council of Chief State School Officers to further job training programs, officials announced Wednesday.

The grant, which totals $1.95 million, will be distributed over three years. It will be used to expand the Pathways to Prosperity program, which provides career training in state public high schools.

The added funding will enable Delaware to connect more students and employers, answer questions from parents and ensure students with disabilities can participate.

State officials made the announcement at Polytech High School Wednesday morning, with several educational professionals from around the state in attendance.

“In Delaware this year, nearly 6,000 students in 38 of 44 public high schools are enrolled in state-model pathway

Panel member Madelynne Harrison a Polytech engineering student answers a question during the Pathway To Prosperity conference at Polytech on Wednesday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

programs aligned to areas of high demand in Delaware’s economy,” Gov. Jack Markell said in a statement. “This grant will support initiatives like this that are critical to preparing all students for success after high school. In the process, we will come closer to achieving our Delaware Promise, which is that by 2025 the percentage of Delawareans with a college degree or professional certificate will match the percentage of our jobs that will require one — 65 percent.”

The state has 14 different pathways, which cover fields such as engineering, health care and culinary and hospitality management.

About 6,000 students currently participate in the 3-year-old effort, with only Lake Forest School District currently not included. The district is slated to add a pathway in the next school year

“Our core focus with this initiative is really on addressing the number of young people who graduate from high school today without the necessary skills to effectively compete,” Marge Hannum, managing director of JPMorgan Chase, said.

Delaware recently received funding from two U.S Department of Labor programs — $3.5 million for Delaware Technical Community College and $800,000 for the state Department of Labor. JPMorgan Chase and CCSSO awarded Delaware a $100,000 grant in March.

“You will be very proud of the accomplishments in Delaware, I guarantee it,” Secretary of Education Stephen Godowsky said at Polytech.

Delaware Governor Jack Markell speaks at the Pathway To Prosperity conference at Polytech on Wednesday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

Staff writer Matt Bittle can be reached at 741-8250 or mbittle@newszap.com. Follow @MatthewCBittle on Twitter.

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