WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and Senator Jeanne Shaheen, along with Representatives Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas, announced a $575,000 federal grant through the U.S. Department of Education to help New Hampshire expand access to career pathway opportunities and prepare students for careers in STEM-oriented fields. Senator Hassan wrote a letter of support for the grant award last year.
The New Hampshire Out-of-School-Time Career Pathways Initiative is a collaboration between the New Hampshire Department of Education, New Hampshire Learning Initiative, innovative businesses, and school districts in Conway, Hinsdale, Laconia, and Manchester. The initiative aims to help school districts expand their capacity to provide career pathway opportunities to New Hampshire students, such as paid internships and industry-recognized credentials, including for students interested in pursuing careers in STEM, as well as provide students with the resources to help them understand what career opportunities are available to them after graduation.
“As the pandemic continues to put a strain on New Hampshire’s innovative businesses, it is more important than ever that businesses have the highly skilled workforce that they need to continue to be successful,” Senator Hassan said. “I was glad to support the state’s application to receive this federal grant, which will provide students in New Hampshire with the opportunity to develop the skills to help them attain in-demand jobs. I will continue working with the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation and members of both parties to strengthen career pathway programs in New Hampshire and across the country.”
“The Career Pathways Initiative plays a crucial role in preparing today’s students for the workforce of tomorrow by enhancing STEM education and expanding STEM-career learning opportunities,” Senator Shaheen said. “New Hampshire businesses at the forefront of high-tech research and innovation are especially in need of more skilled workers, which highlights why this federal funding is such an important investment. As our state continues its economic recovery from COVID-19, these programs can play an important role by equipping students with the skills, knowledge and opportunities they need to find good-paying jobs.”
“In New Hampshire and across the country, there are growing numbers of job opportunities in STEM fields, and skilled employees to fill these positions are in high demand,” said Representative Kuster. “Work-study and work-based learning experiences are effective tools to prepare students for successful careers in STEM fields. This funding will bolster the New Hampshire Out-of-School-Time Career Pathways Initiative in its efforts to improve and expand access to quality STEM education as well as work-study and career development programs. I will continue working to ensure Granite Staters have access to the resources and opportunities they need in order to thrive in our 21st-century economy.”
“I am pleased the New Hampshire Department of Education has received this federal grant to provide apprenticeship opportunities for students,” Representative Pappas said. “Apprenticeship programs create hands-on opportunities for middle and high school students to take part in work-based and action-oriented learning. Students can earn school credit and develop skills which will result in good, high-paying jobs. By investing in our students through apprenticeship programs, we are investing in our businesses and in our economy.”
Senator Hassan is focused on building the highly-skilled workforce that New Hampshire’s businesses need. In 2019, Senator Hassan reintroduced the bipartisan Gateway to Careers Act to help strengthen New Hampshire’s workforce and expand economic opportunity by supporting career pathways strategies – which combine work, education, and support services – to help individuals earn recognized postsecondary credentials. Additionally, last year Senator Hassan introduced a bipartisan bill with Senator Todd Young (R-IN) that would create a grant program aimed at helping more students earn college credits while still in high school. Senator Hassan also introduced a bipartisan bill with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) last January to help rural students reach their higher education goals and connect them with employment opportunities in their hometowns.