The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) was recently selected to receive a Phase One New Skills For Youth (NSFY) grant in the amount of $100,000 for a six-month grant planning process. Through a commitment to ensure more young people graduate from high school prepared for college or well-paying careers, Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and its partners collaborated to offer funding in excess of $2.5 million to participating states.

This grant will allow Pennsylvania to develop a detailed career readiness action plan, an essential step to expanding economic opportunity for young people. PDE Secretary Pedro Rivera was elated to be one of 24 states to receive this first round award:

“PDE is gratified to have been selected to participate in the New Skills for Youth grant program. Career readiness is one of the main priorities of Governor Tom Wolf and PDE, and this grant program will help us provide our schools and educators with the resources to better prepare students for success after high school. PDE thanks the CCSSO and its partners for this opportunity.”

Director of Education Abby Smith will represent Team PA on the State Leadership Team led by PDE and in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Policy and Planning, the Department of Labor and Industry, the Department of Community and Economic Development, and the Department of Agriculture. Team PA will play a key role in helping to identify and facilitate business and industry group collaboration in development of career pathways.

Work on the initiative will kick off the first week of May in Chicago with all 24 Leadership Teams from across the United States. As a Phase One grantee, PDE has the opportunity to apply for a Phase II funding grant in the fall.