Essex County Vocational Technical Schools is among 19 awardees that were notified that they would receive a total of $25 million through the first-ever Perkins Innovation and Modernization, Career Connected High Schools grant program.

The school district was awarded a $1,405,000 grant.

This investment, issued by the U.S. Department of Education, builds the capacity of education and workforce systems to partner with business and industry, to develop new high-quality career-connected high school programs for more students. Grantees will leverage four evidence-based strategies, or “keys,” to help students in unlocking career success including: providing postsecondary education and career guidance; increasing access to dual or concurrent enrollment programs; increasing work-based learning opportunities; and providing industry-recognized credentials.

“We can transform the American high school experience and raise the bar for student engagement, achievement and career-readiness in this country by providing all students with access to dual enrollment classes, work-based learning, industry credentials, and comprehensive career advising,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona.

The grant is part of the USDOE’s Raise the Bar: Unlocking Career Success initiative, aimed at helping young Americans access good-paying jobs.

The USDOE received more than 160 eligible applications from 43 states and the District of Columbia, requesting more than $850 million to implement comprehensive career-connected learning projects.

You can view a list of all the awardees and learn more in this news release.