Gov. Jay Nixon today visited Pattonville High School in St. Louis County to congratulate the school on being selected as an Innovation High School. Through this initiative, students at Pattonville High School will be able to earn hands-on experience in high-demand fields while also earning college credit.
"Through targeted investments in education, we are preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow and giving businesses the skilled workforce they need today," Gov. Nixon said. "By allowing students to earn dual-credits in the classroom, and gain hands-on work experience through local internships, we are placing these students on a solid path to a rewarding career in a high-demand field."
Earlier this year, the Governor announced nearly $1.3 million in grants to establish Innovation High Schools at several public schools in the St. Louis area. In partnership with St. Louis Community College (STLCC) and local businesses, Innovation High Schools will allow participating students to earn college credit and gain hands-on experience in high-demand fields such as advanced manufacturing, skilled trades, health sciences, and information technology.
Through the Governor's Innovation High School initiative, the Pattonville School District and theEconomic Council of St. Louis County will create and support three career pathways in Advanced Manufacturing, Health/Medical professions and Information Technology in collaboration with STLCC and local businesses. STLCC will offer both onsite and satellite campus Associate Degree level courses, creating an opportunity for students to earn both high school and college credit. Students will also be provided work-study and internship opportunities with cooperating area businesses, creating real-world learning experiences.
"This initiative will help students save time and money as they learn the skills and knowledge needed to be prepared for a career after college," Gov. Nixon said. "In addition to the historic investment we continue to make in our K-12 classrooms, the Innovation High School program further demonstrates that education is the best economic development tool there is."
Funding for the Innovative High School program comes from federal Community Development Block Grants, administered by the Department of Economic Development (DED), and is available to St. Louis-area projects which are part of the Pathways to Prosperity pilot. Pathways to Prosperity, initiated by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, is focused on helping schools create pathways that combine rigorous academics with strong technical education and lead to success after high school. Missouri is one of six states chosen by Harvard University and Jobs for the Future to participate in the pilot.
In addition to the St. Louis County Economic Council and St. Louis Community College, other partners who will work with Pattonville on the Pathway to Success program include Ameren Missouri, the city of Maryland Heights, DePaul Health Center, Eagle Consultants, Fred Weber Inc., the Northwest Chamber of Commerce, the Pattonville Fire Protection District, and Schattdecor Inc. The business partners have all committed to collaborating with Pattonville to develop work-study and internship opportunities for students ranging from job-shadowing to hands-on experiences under direct supervision.
Other area school districts selected for the Innovation High School program include:
St. Louis Public Schools - $499,196
The St. Louis Public Schools' main goal through Innovation High School is to assist low-income high school students gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in high-demand jobs in the fields of health science and information technology.
Ferguson-Florissant - $289,800
The Innovation Campus Middle Apprenticeship Program is a collaborative effort, under the leadership of the St Louis Small Business Empowerment Center, that will bring together the Ferguson-Florissant School District and the Special School District's North Technical High School in St. Louis County with the Cabinet Maker and Millwright Joint Apprenticeship Programs of the Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Training Program and SLCC. The program will enable participating students from these high schools to participate in a registered apprenticeship program, and earn national certifications and college credits that will equip them to meet employer needs in the growing and targeted Advanced Manufacturing sector.