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JP Schools Receives $50,000 Grant to Pilot Fast Forward, A Career and College Pathways Program

March 10, 2021

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) announced JP Schools will receive a $50,000 planning grant as the lead entity in region one for its Fast Forward program. The goal of the grant is to help high school students earn associate degrees and apprenticeships in target career fields, including health sciences, information technology, manufacturing and academics.

“Ensuring our students graduate career and college ready is core to our strategic plan, 2024 The Future Our Kids Deserve,” said Dr. James Gray, Superintendent for JP Schools. “We are grateful for this opportunity to forge strategic partnerships and lead the region in developing pathways for students to succeed.”

Through Fast Forward, JP Schools will partner with local industry groups, including Greater New Orleans, Inc., the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, Westbank Business and Industry Association, TriParish Works and Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO), as well as local career and technical colleges, including Delgado Community College, Northshore Technical Community College and Nunez Community College, to align career paths and training programs that will fuel the local workforce. By aligning the needs of local industry with rigorous course offerings and training programs, JP Schools will prepare students for careers in high-skill, high-wage and in-demand occupations.

According to the Louisiana Department of Education, associate’s degree opportunities for high school students have been underutilized in Louisiana. While the number of school systems offering an associate’s degree program in high school has increased, the number of students taking advantage of this opportunity remains small. Fast Forward seeks to increase both the opportunity for and participation in dual degree programs.