KALAMAZOO, MI – Kalamazoo Public Schools received a $ 25,000 grant to expand learning to high school students.
A new program, Career Launch Kalamazoo, will provide KPS students with learning in information technology, health, and manufacturing. It is funded by the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship grant until the fall of 2022, according to a district statement.
“Receiving this highly competitive grant is a great opportunity for KPS students,” said Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri. “Our approach to preparing all students for college and careers includes early exposure to career awareness and exploration beginning with high school students. High school students will then have the opportunity to participate in graduate programs. learning with local entrepreneurs “.
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With the grant, KPS will partner with Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Kalamazoo City, The Kalamazoo Promise, Bronson Healthcare Group, Flowserve and MANN + HUMMEL to create the program.
“Kalamazoo’s promise is very exciting to partner with Kalamazoo public schools to help students find alternative paths to success,” said Von Washington II, executive director of the community relations scholarship program . “This grant will allow us to strategically plan and implement several pathways that students can follow while using the Kalamazoo Promise Scholarship.”
Bronson Healthcare Group said the partnership will help generate interest and commitment in careers in technology fields and provide avenues for students to grow in jobs that provide a living wage.
“As the largest employer in the area, we believe it’s important to focus time and attention on the next generation of employees,” said Katie Dickens, Bronson’s director of clinical information and business IT systems.
MANN + HUMMEL, a German company known for air filter technology, also expressed its enthusiasm for the new partnership. The company operates a manufacturing center on South Sprinkle Road in Portage.
“Participating actively in our local communities is very important to MANN + HUMMEL,” said Jill Sherman, executive assistant and travel manager. “We are very excited to receive this scholarship and look forward to our continued collaboration with schools and businesses in our area to develop the talents of our future staff.”
In addition to funding, the grant will provide more than $ 1 million in in-kind support for technical assistance, strategic planning, coaching sessions with experts, learning trips and access to learning partners, according to the statement.
Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship will also provide the professional launch of Kalamazoo with technical assistance from PAYA national partners, cross-site learning opportunities and opportunities to participate in national research, communications and access to the PAYA network, a group of working organizations to expand and improve learning for high schools.
The association was created in 2018 as a multi-year, multi-stakeholder initiative that expands economic opportunities by helping organizations across the country develop youth learning programs, according to the statement.
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