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Delaware Pathways gets $3.25 mil grant for career education

Delaware Public Media

Pathways is a private-public cooperative helping Delaware students prepare for the workforce. The New York-based global charity Bloomberg Philanthropies gave Pathways a $3.25 million boost Friday.

The new dollars will help hire more staff for Pathways and expand its programs.

The Rodel Foundation of Delaware is a lead partner in Pathways. President and CEO Paul Herdman says the new funds will also go towards industry councils charged with aligning student education with industry needs.

“Make sure there is some alignment between what’s being taught in high school, what they’re experiencing in a workplace experience, maybe what they’re learning in some early college dual-enrollment type courses at the early college or university level.”

Del Tech already allows high school students to participate in its immersive manufacturing courses through Pathways. The new dollars will create a similar program for students interested in healthcare. Zip Code Wilmington will also use grant money to offer a new summer coding program for high school students.

Luke Rhine is the Director for Career and Technical Initiatives for the Department of Education. He says these programs empowers students and help ensure Delaware’s student body is represented in tomorrow’s workforce.

“It’s about talent development and for our state to be competitive we need to make sure that every student is able to find his or her passion and then have the support they need to fulfill their potential,” said Rhine. “And if we are able to do that as a state we will grow the economy; we will grow our communities.”

Gov. John Carney (D) announced the grant at the Fourth Annual Delaware Pathways Conference at the Chase Center in Wilmington Friday saying it, “will help Delaware continue its focus on in-demand occupations and where there is the greatest potential for our students to enter the workforce in middle- and high-skill occupations.”

Over the past four years, the Pathways enrollment has grown from 27 students to more than 9,000, and officials hope to enroll 20,000 by 2020.

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