More New Orleans high school kids will get a chance to pursue careers in STEM thanks to a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
Students will earn credits toward industry-based certifications. These skills are required for some STEM jobs. The programs also will match students with mentors and some students will get paid internships and full-time jobs through a network of more than 250 employees, according to Operation Spark executive director John Fraboni.
“Training in high school helps level the playing field and create more equitable outcomes for our public school students,” said Cate Swinburn, president of YouthForce NOLA, which announced the grant. “It allows young people from economically disadvantaged households to consider, early on, the careers they might like to pursue, and it gives them a roadmap and access to the tools they need to succeed”.
The program could bring many jobs to the city. According to GNO, Inc., the city’s regional economic development agency, the Greater New Orleans area will need to fill 78,000 jobs over the next decade.