Oklahoma wins $2 million statewide grant for early college, career initiatives
OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 11, 2017) – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said Oklahoma’s win of a $2 million, three-year statewide grant by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. will help implement individualized academic plans for kids, redefine the senior year, increase concurrent and dual enrollment with earned college credit and career certification, and better connect schools directly with business and industry.
Announced today, the grant is part of a $75 million, five-year New Skills for Youth (NSFY) initiative aimed at strengthening career-focused education in 10 U.S. states.
“We are thrilled that Oklahoma is among a select few states to win this highly competitive grant,” Hofmeister said. “This will enable families to engage early with their own student’s academic strengths, needs, and aspirations for the careers and jobs of the future and will equip schools to support that work. We look forward to working with the Governor’s Oklahoma Works initiative and our partners to create opportunities that lead to high-demand, highly skilled, well-paying jobs for Oklahoma’s successive generations. We are very grateful to JP Morgan Chase for the resources to make great things happen.”
College and career readiness are of particular importance in Oklahoma, where, by the year 2025, three-fourths of Oklahoma jobs will require postsecondary credentials.
“The workforce of tomorrow will be highly specialized, requiring college degrees and industry credentials in far greater numbers than Oklahoma is currently generating,” said Natalie Shirley, Secretary of Education and Workforce Development for Oklahoma. “Through the Governor’s Oklahoma Works Initiative, we are taking serious steps to close the workforce gap, and the Phase Two grant will provide key funding to allow us to continue and expand this important work. I am proud that education and workforce stakeholders joined with the State Department of Education and Oklahoma’s New Skills for Youth cross-sector team to draft a winning proposal and presentation. I look forward to continued collaboration on college and career readiness projects and initiatives.”