Haverhill and Lawrence High Schools Receive $15,000 Each for Job-Focused Education

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Haverhill and Lawrence High Schools were each awarded $15,000 from the state Tuesday for Innovation Pathway programs, which provide high school students with opportunities to learn and gain experience in a particular industry through career exploration, technical courses and internships.

The money is part of $600,000 being shared among 22 school districts statewide. Students are also able to enroll in post-secondary courses, at no cost to them, to help them make progress toward industry-recognized credentials. Officials said most Innovation Pathways are in STEM-related fields, including advanced manufacturing, information technology, environmental and life sciences, health care and social assistance and business and finance.

“These programs provide students with hands-on skills learning and access to opportunities for future success in high-demand fields,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “The expansion of Innovation Pathways will allow more students to gain knowledge and work experiences that prepare them for successful careers before they graduate high school.”

Innovation Pathways differ from its sister program—Early College—in that students focus on a specific industry sector, with greater emphasis on career exploration, technical courses, work-based learning experiences and industry-recognized credentials, rather than college credit courses and college planning.

“When students have a sense of purpose, they become more interested and engaged in their studies, able to easily see how it all fits into their future,” said Secretary of Education James Peyser. “As more students gain skills and knowledge in a particular industry sector, they will have a better sense of what they want to do after they graduate and what additional post-secondary courses and training they will need to ensure their success.”

Recipient schools must provide “equitable access for all students; guided academic pathway, which, in the case of Innovation Pathways, must relate to one of five specified broad industry sectors; enhanced student supports; relevant connections to career; and deep partnerships between high schools and employers or workforce development boards.”

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