UETN Awarded $200,000 for American Graduate: Getting to Work Initiative

CPB Award Will Advance Education and Career Readiness for Students and Workers Throughout Utah

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) announced a grant of $200,000 to KUEN, operated by the Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN) for the American Graduate: Getting to Work initiative to help advance education and career readiness locally. The station will work with partners in Utah to assess workforce challenges and opportunities, and to produce content focused on the essential skills needed for students and workers to succeed in the job markets of today and tomorrow.

The award will support the UtahFutures American Graduate Project, an initiative to address the gap between high-demand, high-potential technical careers and Utah workers prepared to enter them. The two-year project integrates UtahFutures.org, a web portal that helps Utahns identify their interests and find education and job opportunities.

“Despite the income and growth potential for workers in these ‘middle-skills’ jobs, employers are having trouble finding qualified people to fill them,” said Laura Hunter, Chief Operating Officer of UETN. “UtahFutures American Graduate will assist local partner efforts to address this skills gap.”

UtahFutures American Graduate includes collaboration with the Utah System of Technical Colleges, the Utah State Board of Education and other organizations with programs and services that support workforce development for occupations that require specialized training beyond a high school diploma, but not necessarily a four-year college degree.

The new grants represent the next phase of public media’s successful American Graduate initiative, which was launched in 2011 to address the nation’s high school dropout rate. During the past six years, public media stations across the country forged community connections and innovative partnerships to help improve student outcomes, substantially contributing to an increase in the national high school graduation rate to an all-time high of 84 percent.

“The American Graduate initiative attracted local business and community leader support and engagement by focusing on keeping young people on the path to success in school and life,” said Pat Harrison, CPB President and CEO. “All Americans want our young people to be prepared to fill jobs that currently are unfilled because of a skills gap.”

KUEN is one of 19 stations receiving these American Graduate grants as part of the national effort. Local partners include the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts, the Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS), the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (UHEAA), the Utah State Board of Education (USBE), the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE), the Utah System of Technical Colleges (USTC) and KUED and KUER.

“Through this project, KUEN will help more Utahns make well-informed decisions about education and career planning,” said David Woolstenhulme, Commissioner of the Utah System of Technical Colleges. “Using the media and communication capabilities of KUEN to raise awareness of the issues and opportunities around highly promising technical careers will be of particular benefit to job seekers and learners in our state.”

About American Graduate

American Graduate is public media’s long-term commitment to supporting community-based solutions to help young people succeed in school, career and life. Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), more than 125 public television and radio stations have joined forces with over 1,700 partners to elevate the stories of youth and the supportive adults that help them succeed. Through American Graduate, public media, with its unique position as a trusted resource and important partner in local communities, provides a critical platform to shine a light on pathways to graduation and successful student outcomes. National and local reporting, on air and online is helping communities understand the challenges and community-driven solutions associated with education and future successes. Public forums, town halls and community conversations are activating discussions between community leaders, educators and more.

About CPB

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of nearly 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit http://www.cpb.org, follow on Twitter @CPBmedia,  Facebookand LinkedIn, and subscribe for email updates.


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