Department of Education Awards Grants to Modernize Workforce Training

Department of Education Awards Grants to Modernize Workforce Training

October 3, 2019

WASHINGTON— U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today the recipients of the Innovation & Modernization Grant, a Perkins V program that funds career and technical education (CTE).

The I&M Grant is designed to test new ideas to help prepare students for success in the workforce by identifying, supporting, and evaluating evidence-based strategies for improving CTE. The grants are also designed to ensure workforce skills taught in CTE programs funded under Perkins V align with local labor market needs.

Grantees will create, develop, implement, replicate, or scale evidence-based innovations that modernize CTE, increase program effectiveness and alignment, and improve student outcomes. Grant funds under this competition may be used for a broad range of approaches including designing new courses, building capacity in computer science and coding, creating work-based learning opportunities for students, and integrating science and math content in applied courses.

"We know that access to high-quality Career and Technical Education options can open up new pathways to success for students," said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. "It's gratifying to see each of these grantees rethinking education and modernizing workforce training in their communities to ensure students have the skills they need for in-demand, high-paying jobs."

In July 2018, President Trump signed into law the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), the federal government's principal source of funding for career and technical education (CTE). The program provides nearly $1.3 billion to states, school districts, and community colleges every year, of which the I&M Grant is a part.

Of the 64 eligible applications reviewed for this competition, nine grant recipients received the highest ranking from panels made up of reviewers with expertise in CTE, alignment of CTE programs to address labor market needs, and STEM. Three of the funded projects are serving rural communities, a priority because rural communities often have fewer resources and less ability to innovate in the ways that the I&M grants encourage. All nine projects will serve students in Qualified Opportunity Zones. Each of the nine grantees will receive funding for the first year of a three-year project period.

Grantees include:

Grantee Year 1 award 3-year grant total
Lorain County Community College District, OH (Rural) $165,835 $497,505
Research Foundation CUNY, NY $135,623 $490,327
Old Dominion Research Foundation, VA $140,866 $450,000
School Board Miami-Dade County, FL $199,998 $500,000
Multnomah-Portland Public Schools, OR $166,666 $500,000
Gwinnett County Public Schools, GA $151,594 $498,568
Wyoming Department of Education, WY (Rural) $55,938 $489,714
Orange County, CA $307,111 $448,936
Northeast State Community College, TN (Rural) $164,590 $473,935
Total $1,488,221 $4,348,985

"Congress sent a clear message to the country when they included the Innovation and Modernization grant program in the reauthorization of Perkins V, and we are excited to implement the program," said Scott Stump, the Assistant Secretary of Career, Technical, and Adult Education. "The time to rethink career and technical education is now, and we believe that the Innovation and Modernization Grant Competition takes an important step in that direction."

More information about each grantee's project can be found on the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education's Perkins Collaborative Research Network.