South Bend Community School Corporation receives $5.2 million dollar grant from U.S. Department of Education

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - South Bend Schools gets a more than five-million-dollar grant for a student career focused program.

“First reaction, I began to think about faces. The faces of individuals of kids that I know that are going to be impacted by the resources, the dollars that are going to come alongside our career and education programming as we move toward a new career center, career exploration. And I began to think about humbly and really moved that we were going to do something very special for a whole lot of kids and their families over the next five years,” Assistant Superintendent of College and Workforce Readiness for South Bend Community Schools Corporation Chad Addie said.

The $5.2 million dollar grant was awarded from the Biden-Harris administration, as part of a first-ever connected high school grant program.

This will go hand-in-hand with the GEAR UP! South Bend grant, currently in its third year.

This allows around $18 million to be invested over the next five plus years into creative school career pathway programs and community partners.

“It’s pretty exciting. We've been on the radar for several years for the innovation that comes out of South Bend as a community. And then to be able to tie that to the actual programming that helps students to connect with an already innovated and exceptional community, that has a lot of encouragement a lot of power to it,” Addie said.

According to Addie, the money will support a range of initiatives that offer students additional chances to gain industry certifications, job training skills, extended internships and summer programs that provide more career training.

South Bend Community School Corporation competed with more than 160 eligible applications from 43 states for the grant.

The U.S. Department of Education applauds South Bend for seeking to transform four public high schools and a new countywide career center.

The department also adds they are impressed by South Bend’s vision for system alignment, evidence-based practices and high-quality pathways.

The grant is part of the U.S. Education Department’s Raise the Bar: Unlocking Career Success initiative, aimed at helping young Americans access good-paying jobs created by President Biden's investing in America initiative.

“For it to be the first of its kind grant to promote a more career connected exploration at a younger age and really equip kids with what they need going forward, that also makes sense for our workforce and our industry partners. I believe it’s transformative. And I believe it will help to change the face of education,” Addie said.

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