BATON ROUGE: The Louisiana Department of Education today announced the expansion of the state's nationally-recognized Jump Start career education initiative to cover the summer months through a 2017 pilot initiative called Jump Start Summers.
Jump Start Summers will help high school students prepare for college, career and life success by giving them the opportunity to attain high-demand industry-based credentials (IBCs), master essential workplace "soft skills," and earn academic credit during the summer. All students participating in Jump Start Summers programs will also earn a summer wage while gaining invaluable experience working onsite with the sponsoring industry partners.
To launch the initiative, the Department has publicly released a request for applications from school systems and employers interested in providing these essential experiences to students and willing to compensate students for the time they put in.
This piloting effort builds on breakthrough summer work already being done across Louisiana, including the Delta Workforce Ready initiative in the Northeast region, the YouthForce Nola initiative in greater New Orleans, and "Super Summer Safety Session" partnerships between the Associated Builders and Contractors-Pelican Branch and school systems in multiple regions across the state.
"Workplace-based learning provides an unparalleled opportunity for students to master essential workplace behaviors and communication skills, while making their academic schoolwork more relevant," said State Superintendent John White. "This is true for all students--those who are university-bound, as well as those who are career-focused."
Jump Start Summers, which will be funded by the national New Skills for Youth grant Louisiana won earlier this year and other generous philanthropic support, reflects the Department's strategy to engage employers to make course work more relevant for Louisiana high school students.
Jump Start Summers grant winners will receive seed funding up to $1,000 per participating student to launch their inaugural programs, with the requirement that in-kind and cash contributions from industry partners at least match this seed funding. Student stipends for the time they spend learning and working will be contingent on their attendance and effort.
Jump Start Summers programs will consist of one or more of the following:
- Cohorts of rising 10th graders attaining National Center for Construction Education and Research Core, an entry-level industry credential for skilled trades, construction and advanced manufacturing jobs, along with basic safety IBCs, like First Aid and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10-hour certification, while completing a capstone written summary and presentation of the benefits of their Jump Start Summers experience.
- Cohorts of rising 11th graders attaining high-value Statewide IBCs while completing a series of career readiness exercises, including a self-assessment and a self-assessment presentation to an unfamiliar workplace adult, that enables every student to attain a Micro-Enterprise complementary credential.
- Cohorts of rising 12th graders and recent graduates attaining high-value Statewide IBCs and participating in on-site job shadowing and/or internships, while completing job attainment exercises like mock job interviews, resume development and business writing exercises.
Jump Start Summers will also provide the unprecedented opportunity for school districts and charter schools to earn accountability points by helping recent graduates who did not complete their preparation for adult life in high school earn industry credentials and master essential workplace behaviors and communications skills.
Grant funds will be provided to applicants that demonstrate:
- Commitments from employer partners;
- Compensation for students based on student attendance and engagement;
Diversity of students engaged, in terms of background and interests, as well as disability;
- Potential for multi-year sequencing; and
- Capacity to help students attain culminating industry-based credentials.
Applications must be submitted by April 21, 2017. Questions about this opportunity should be addressed to JumpStart@la.gov no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, 2017.
The Department will indicate which applications have been accepted for partial or full funding no later than April 28, 2017.
For more information on All Things Jump Start, click here.