Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has announced that the state will award $1.3 million in grants to establish Innovation High Schools at several public schools in the St. Louis area. In partnership with St. Louis Community College (STLCC) and local businesses, Innovation High Schools will allow participating students to earn college credit and gain hands-on experience in high-demand fields such as advanced manufacturing, skilled trades, health sciences, and information technology.
The Community Development Block Grants funds, administered by the Department of Economic Development (DED), have been awarded to three St. Louis-area projects which are part of the Pathways to Prosperity pilot. Pathways to Prosperity, initiated by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, is focused on helping schools create pathways that combine rigorous academics with strong technical education and lead to success after high school. Missouri is one of six states chosen by Harvard University and Jobs for the Future to participate in the pilot.
The three participants – St. Louis Innovation High School, Pattonville School District, and Ferguson-Florissant School District each got awards ranging from just over $250,000 to $500,000 for innovation programs. The St. Louis Innovation High School will use its award to assist low-income high school students gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in high-demand jobs in the fields of health science and information technology, through a dual credit program at STLCC.
Pattonville School District, will create and support three career pathways in Advanced Manufacturing, Health/Medical professions and Information Technology in collaboration with STLCC and local businesses. STLCC will offer both onsite and satellite campus Associate Degree level courses.
Ferguson-Florissant School District, partner with the Special School District’s North Technical High School in St. Louis County with the Cabinet Maker and Millwright Joint Apprenticeship Programs of the Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Training Program and SLCC. The program will enable participating students from these high schools to participate in a registered apprenticeship program, and earn national certifications and college credits that will equip them to meet employer needs in the growing and targeted Advanced Manufacturing sector.
“Strategic investments like these will help Missourians find jobs today and strengthen our economy in the future – because education is the best economic development tool there is,” Governor Nixon said.