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Southeast Tech, CTE Academy Earn Citi Foundation Grant
South Dakota Ag Connection - 12/03/2018

The Citi Foundation has announced that Southeast Tech, through a partnership with the Sioux Falls School District's Career and Technical Education Academy (CTE Academy), has again been awarded a $250,000 grant from its 2018 Youth Workforce Fund, a national initiative that supports community organizations in key cities across the U.S. to help expand programming and connect low-income youth to a range of employment opportunities.

This year marks the second year the Citi Foundation has awarded the Youth Workforce Grant to Southeast Tech and the CTE Academy.

"Citi has called Sioux Falls home for over 38 years," stated Rick Nath, Site President of Citi Sioux Falls, "We are honored to invest in the future leadership of our city."

The Youth Workforce Fund is part of the Citi Foundation's three-year, $100 million Pathways to Progress initiative, a global endeavor focusing on career readiness initiatives that provide youth job seekers the full range of services needed for long-term employment and economic success.

Southeast Tech and the CTE Academy will use the funds to equip youth with skills training in line with local industry needs and assist them with securing internships and paid apprenticeships. This effort is coordinated through CTE Academy positions partially funded by the grant, an internship coordinator and a career coach who educated students about career exploration opportunities including camps, job shadows, internships and pre-apprenticeships, as well as post-secondary educational opportunities.

"Since our founding more than 50 years ago, Southeast Tech has been committed to providing career-focused education developed in collaboration with local industry, and it's why we're committed to partnering with our neighboring CTE Academy," Southeast Tech President Bob Griggs said. "It's also why we continue to invest in recruiting and retaining talented faculty, each of whom bring real-world experience to their teaching. And it's why we're proud of our skills-relevant facilities -- all of which provide our students multiple pathways to professional accomplishment."

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken agreed.

"Setting up our future workforce for success through internships is crucial to the economic success of Sioux Falls," TenHaken said. "Thanks to the support of Citi Foundation's Youth Workforce Fund, Southeast Tech can connect more young talent with local businesses in need of quality talent."

Access to apprenticeships, internships and vocational training is essential to empowering youth and preparing them to compete in today's economy. According to the Citi Foundation's "Global Youth Survey: Economic Prospects & Expectations," 78 percent of young people surveyed believe that internships and apprenticeships are critical for career success; however, 60 percent say there aren't enough of these opportunities in their cities.

"Youth Workforce Fund grantees are helping to equip local youth with the skills and training necessary to fill employment needs in their communities," said Brandee McHale, president of the Citi Foundation. "By addressing the skills mismatch these organizations are opening new doors for young workers across America and introducing them to long-term, meaningful career opportunities in their local communities."

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