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Education / Funding

These Delaware high schools got $450K to teach trade skills in tech, science and more

Backed by the State and corporates like Bank of America, the Pathways to Prosperity program aims to train students to be job-ready after high school.

Gov. Jack Markell at one of the schools that will take on new funding from the Pathways to Prosperity program. (Courtesy photo)

More than a dozen schools will receive a total of $450,000 in funding from the Pathways to Prosperity program, focused on training high school students to be job-ready without college degrees.
Where is the money coming from? The Delaware Department of Education and members of the Delaware Business Roundtable (DBRT) like Bank of America.
Pathways to Prosperity is a program the State created in response to opportunities shrinking for job seekers without college degrees. As Gov. Jack Markell explained it in a statement, “The path to middle-class security is not what it was thirty years ago and our approach to career preparation can’t be either.” While the Pathways program doesn’t follow a traditional four-year college degree route for job seekers, it was created with the idea of keeping trade skills in mind, to build a candidate pipeline for the program’s corporate partners. Each “pathway” supports a specific field, like national resource science or manufacturing engineering technology.
The program is based on a research project that originated within Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. A 2011 study was done under the same title.
According to Ernie Dianastasis, the chair of the DBRT education committee, there are currently 14 pathways with over 6,000 students.
“This gets down deeper into the earlier stages, before somebody, it gives them a chance to focus in a specific area at a much younger age, in the early stages in high school,” said Dianastasis in an interview about the program.
“You’re gonna have more students that find meaningful opportunities and careers, that would’ve had a tougher time doing that just through the old traditional channels,” he said.
Here’s the breakdown of what programs are going to which high schools for the 2017-2018 academic year:
K-12 Teacher Academy: Appoquinimink High School, Middletown High School, Cape Henlopen High School, Dover High School, William Penn High School, Indian River High School, Sussex Central High School, Laurel High School, Milford High School, Polytech High School, Thomas McKean High School and Smyrna High School.
Environmental and Natural Resource Science: Dover High School, William Penn High School, Thomas McKean High School.
Nurse Assisting: Dover High School, Conrad School of Science
Academy of Finance: Milford High School, AI DuPont High School, Smyrna High School
Manufacturing Engineering Technology: Lake Forest High School and Thomas McKean High School

Companies: Harvard University
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