Obama awards TPS $3.8 million for career-driven program - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Obama awards TPS $3.8 million for career-driven program

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Millions of federal dollars are headed to Toledo to help TPS students gain work experience in high-demand careers.

TPS is one of 24 winners of the Obama Administration's Youth CareerConnect grants.

TPS alone is receiving nearly $4 million and is the only Ohio recipient.

The money will go toward helping students prepare for jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The winners proposed partnerships with employers and colleges to push students to high demand fields.

"You guys are all coming up in an age where you're not going to be able to compete with people across town for good jobs," says President Obama. "You're going to be competing with the rest of the world."

TPS leaders say the grant was written following the philosophy of Toledo Technology Academy on Upton Avenue.

Gregory Hudgen is a senior at Toledo Technology Academy.  His team in the engineering lab has a big project.

"We're problem solving for a company," says Hudgen, who plans to go to college to be an aviation mechanic.

They're building a bottle assembler for Impact Products.

"We're doing this because their employees were complaining it was hurting their hands after assembling the bottles all day," says Hudgen.

"Knowing how to do things in the real world is very, very important," says Gary Thompson, the Director of Toledo Technology Academy.

Thompson took 13abc on a tour of the school just hours after President Obama announced TPS is receiving $3.8 million in federal grants as part of a national program to provide high schoolers with better preparation for high demand jobs.

"Our students always have and always will graduate career and college ready," says Thompson.

TTA has approximately 40 business partners in the community.

Every senior is required to do an internship working with a company.

Rachel Ahrendt, a senior and the valedictorian at Toledo Technology Academy, plans to become a nurse.  She just secured an internship at the University of Toledo Medical Center.

"Right now the medical field is so related to technology that engineering really isn't that far off from what I want to go into," says Ahrendt.

"You can go into a field and work just as hard as those who went to college for ten years and try to get an education in that. So, it gets you really experienced," says Brittany Pyles, a senior at Toledo Technology Academy who applied for an internship at Owens-Illinois.

Thompson says the new grant money will help more TPS students at high schools across the city go through a rigorous academic and career-focused curriculum.

"If we can expand this model and have it become infused in the system, not just adjunct to the system, is the goal," says Thompson.

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