Gov. John Lynch and the Executive Council have approved the use of federal Workforce Investment Act funds to expand a successful program in Grafton County that offers real world learning opportunities and high school credit for students.
The $234,678 contract with the Grafton County Economic Development Council will help to expand the existing North Country Workplace Education Project.
“We must continue to create new opportunities for real-world learning, where students can gain on-the-job training and the basic skills they need to graduate from high school and get a good job. These funds will allow us to expand a successful program, where students are learning valuable lessons, as well as high school credits,” said Gov. Lynch. “This program represents the state’s growing efforts to provide greater alternative education programs that are helping more of our young people graduate from high school.”
Gov. Lynch has made increasing New Hampshire’s high school graduation rate a priority, by increasing the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 and expanding alternative education programs. In just the last year, New Hampshire’s high school dropout rate decreased by 30 percent. This initiative builds on those efforts.
The current program matches students from the Lisbon Regional School and Profile High School, with companies such as Garnet Hill and New England Wire. Funding from the Workforce Investment Act will fund an expansion to other North Country high schools and businesses.
“Providing students with the opportunity to gain new job readiness skills is of paramount importance to building the workforce of tomorrow,” said Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner George Bald. “I’m thrilled that more and more young people will be able to access this first class project and to take advantage of this excellent public/private partnership.”
“The Governor and Executive Council’s support for this public/private partnership represents the solid support for innovative solutions to the problems in the North Country,” said Mark Scarano, executive director of the Grafton County Economic Development Council.