The Bradley County school system has been awarded a $4.5 million dollar grant.  It is one of 24 districts nationwide splitting a total of $107 million in grants under Youth CareerConnect, a collaboration between the U.S. Labor and Education Departments.

President Obama announced the program in November, part of his goal to reshape high schools to make sure students are prepared for college and the ever-changing job market.

Bradley County will use the money to upgrade its advanced manufacturing, information technology and health science programs.

Through the Youth CareerConnect grant, Bradley County Schools will connect education to today's workforce skills.  Career and Technical Education teachers will be paired with an employer mentor with a focus on integrating academic and career-focused learning and connecting classroom activities with Work-Based Learning opportunities in order to develop a robust curriculum that will elevate students' employability in high-growth H-1B industries.  Students will participate in a variety of Work-Based Learning opportunities, including internships with local employers.

"Bradley Pathways will provide our students new ways to connect with business and industry through the unique partnerships," stated Patti Hunt, BCS Grant Coordinator.  "We have over 33 community partnerships represented in this grant.  We are very appreciative to the community for working with us to provide educational and career opportunities for our students."

The Bradley system was among just three in the South to receive the award. The others were in Clinton, S. C. and Eatonton, GA.