President’s Plan To Prepare Students For Jobs Is Not New To Baltimore Co. School

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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Revamping high schools. It’s part of a new initiative President Barack Obama unveiled to get students better prepared for the workplace.

Christie Ileto explains the competitive grant program.

It’s called Youth Career Connect. It allows high school students to team up with colleges and employers to get work experience in science and tech fields, but some Baltimore County classrooms already do this.

President Obama unveiled the new initiative Tuesday.

“We’re announcing a competitive grant program that will encourage more high schools to partner with colleges and local businesses to better prepare our kids for college or a career,” President Obama said.

Soon, $100 million in federal dollars will be available to high schools.

“To make sure that more young people get hands-on training and develop the skills they need in math, science and engineering,” Obama said.

But this program isn’t anything new to Sollers Point Tech High, where students do things like building and programming robots to writing computer programs.

Budding computer programmer Walter Conde says he’s getting hands-on training for his dream job.

“I feel like I would be more prepared because I have the basics of what to do,” Conde said.

The administration says the goal is to make a more direct path from the high school classroom to the workforce.

Up to 40 grants, ranging from $2 million to $7 million will be given to schools who apply.

“We have a grant currently with Baltimore County Community College that sounds very similar to what President Obama is trying to do,” said principal Michael Weglein. “I think what we’re doing could be easily replicated to meet the standards of the grant.”

Grants will be awarded early next year.

At minimum, applicants will be asked to match at least 25 percent of the grant award.

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