Mayor Ed Gainey and Pittsburgh Public Schools leaders announced a new workforce development partnership that could be the first collaboration between the city and the school district since the superintendent and mayor took over. duties this year.
The “Prepare to Prosper” Workforce Development Partnership is a joint effort between the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Career and Technical Education. [CTE] Pittsburgh Public Schools Division.
Other partners include Argo AI, a software company developing autonomous vehicle technology, and Partner4Work, a workforce development organization.
In July, Gainey offered his administration’s support to the school district when Wayne Walters was named the new superintendent.
“That relationship, right here, is extremely important,” Gainey told Walters on Friday. “There is no me, there is only us. And as we grow, the city grows. And as the city grows, you grow because we open up opportunities. I would therefore like to thank you for your partnership.
A 2020 study by the Pew Research Center found that the unemployment rate among young people aged 16 to 24 was 25.3%, significantly higher than among workers 25 and older.
Angela Mike, executive director of Career and Technical Education, said the partnership will help students develop workforce skills, prepare them for higher education and advance them into careers that can provide family wages.
In the CTE program, guidance counselors initiate ninth-grade recruitment and administer interest surveys to help students decide whether they want to participate in the three-year program.
The partnership will allow students in the program to track local businesses and eventually move on to paid internships within city departments and with industry partners, including Argo AI. Currently, there are 40 to 50 companies that will provide these opportunities for students under the partnership, Mike said.
CTE works with various healthcare companies including UPMC, Allegheny Health Network, and Presbyterian Senior Care who train and hire students. They also work with PartnerUp to provide career development and soft skills to students. Apart from companies and industries, they also collaborate with unions to train students.
The city and CTE have also partnered with Partner4Work, which will provide strategic alliances, funding and resources.
“Our job is to connect job seekers with employers,” said Partner4Work CEO Robert Cherry.
The program is funded by donations of equipment, transportation, or technology to support students in the program.
“As leaders, we have an obligation and a responsibility to you. We need to create as many pathways to prosperity as possible,” Gainey said. “Whatever level of higher education you want to get to, we need to provide a pathway to get you there.”
Lajja Mistry is a K-12 education reporter at PublicSource. She can be contacted at [email protected]
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