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Economic Development Corporation Announces Parkdale High School As Latest Addition To Federal Youth Program Grant
Riverdale, MD - This morning, the Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President and CEO Jim Coleman and Prince George's County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell joined school system officials and Prince George's County Youth CareerConnect program staff (YCC) to celebrate the addition of Parkdale High School to the YCC program. Also in attendance were YCC employer partners Pepco, SGT, Inc., Prince George's Community College and Latin American Youth Center officials. The Youth CareerConnect Program is a four year STEM Demonstration Grant that was initiated under former President Obama and is geared toward providing employers with a skilled workforce in healthcare and information technology immediately following high school.
"I am proud of what Prince George's County is doing with our schools today, and I want to thank the stakeholders and partners of the YCC program for providing so many of our youth with this extraordinary opportunity to become the workforce of tomorrow," said Coleman. "As the EDC works every day to convince companies to move to Prince George's County, having a school system that is producing great leaders for tomorrow makes our jobs just a little easier. Each one of these YCC students has the potential to be a Katherine Johnson (from 'Hidden Figures') and it is because of the fabulous commitment of our principals, teachers, guidance counselors and the business community at large that each of our students has the power to go out and change the world."
As managers of the $7 million YCC grant through the U.S. Department of Labor, the EDC has worked tirelessly with business and community stakeholders to provide program participants with mentoring, skills training and significant summer internship opportunities with companies such as Lockheed Martin, CVS, Dimensions Healthcare, National Institutes of Health and many more high-profile companies.
Mr. Coleman and Dr. Maxwell congratulated the school system on its highest graduation rate in many years. Thanks to the success of programs like YCC, Prince George's County boasts an 81% high school graduation rate.
"Today is a great day for Parkdale High School and a great day for Prince George's County Public Schools," said Maxwell. "This is a system on the rise thanks to hard work by students, faculty, community partners, and business leaders coming together for a great cause - your education. Through this YCC program, students have the option to participate in job readiness training, paid summer Capstone and internship experiences, college entrance exam preparation and college tours. What a benefit for the Parkdale students and for the County public school system."
Today's event was hosted by Parkdale Principal Dr. Tasha Graves-Henderson who was very excited about her school being selected to participate in the YCC program. Along with the Parkdale announcement, Mr. Coleman also announced the dedication of a new competitive scholarship that will become available for all YCC seniors heading to college. The scholarship will be named in honor of former Parkdale High School principal Tanya L. Washington who passed away last fall.
Currently, the YCC program has 644 participants. Forty students graduated from the program in 2016, and with the addition of Parkdale High School, another 200 students will become eligible to participate in the program. As an incentive to maximize the number of students participating in the YCC program, Mr. Coleman also challenged the YCC students and faculty to increase the number of enrollments in their academic academies and in the YCC program. The top performing school for YCC enrollment and Academy enrollment will win $5,000 in school supplies.
Companies interested in partnering with the Prince George's County Youth CareerConnect Program for summer job opportunities, internships or mentoring contact Yolanda Tully, YCC Program Director at 301-618-8400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.