Too few of America's students are meaningfully engaged in their academic experience while in high school, and many high school graduates lack exposure to learning that links their studies in school to future college and career pathways — especially in the critically important fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. President Obama has called for a comprehensive effort to rethink the high school experience for America's youth, challenging schools to scale up innovative models that personalize teaching and learning so that students stay on track to graduate with the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed in college and in careers.
President Obama has made clear that he is committed to making 2014 a year of action by taking steps — both with Congress and on his own — to expand opportunity for all Americans. As part of achieving the president's vision to prepare all students for success in post-secondary education and in a competitive workforce, the U.S. Department of Labor, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, has established the Youth CareerConnect grant.
This initiative encourages America's school districts, institutions of higher education, the workforce investment system, and their partners to integrate rigorous educational standards with work experiences and skills in ways that enhance instruction and deliver real-world learning opportunities for students. Across the country, 24 Youth CareerConnect awards will provide $107 million to local partnerships of local education agencies, workforce investment boards, institutions of higher education and employer partners as they re-design the teaching and learning experience for youth to more fully prepare them with the knowledge, skills, and industry-relevant education needed to get on the pathway to a successful career, including postsecondary education or registered apprenticeship.