New program connects Cleveland teens to paid jobs

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Metropolitan School District has launched a program that aims to create pathways to prosperity for high school students while helping businesses facing staff shortages.

On Monday, CMSD launched a new community-wide initiative called PACE, which stands for Planning And Career Exploration.

“Next to Say Yes Cleveland, this is the biggest thing we’ve done in education in Cleveland,” said PACE co-creator Ann Bingham.

Adam Snyder is one of many community partners coming together to help connect Cleveland teens to gainful employment.

“It makes me so excited for CMSD students right now,” Snyder said.

Snyder, along with the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, was on hand for the district’s PACE program rollout.

He spoke directly to students in the crowd at the Garrett Morgan School of Science.

“We want to introduce you to the opportunities these 1,700 manufacturers represent,” Snyder said.

PACE will be integrated into the school day as an integral part of the lessons.

“Students will be provided with eye-opening opportunities that will be facilitated not only by their teachers, but also by employers and nonprofit partners,” said District Superintendent Eric Gordon.

This collaboration goes far beyond the simple fact of helping teenagers choose a profession.

“What is it about you, your strengths, your passions that makes this career interesting for you?” said Michelle Scott Taylor, College Now.

Once interest is generated, PACE will connect students directly with potential employers.

According to the Greater Cleveland Partnership, there are currently thousands of good, high-skilled jobs and CMSD students are needed to fill them.

“Together, what we’re going to do is create an abundant talent pool for the future that not only fuels businesses, but also helps you live your dreams,” said Craig Platt, IT Industry Partnership.

Amari Thompson, a senior at the John Marshall School of Information Technology, is grateful for the additional support and guidance as she sorts out what’s next.

“PACE is going to help fill a big gap I see among my peers. PACE will help me discover more options in my chosen field of study, and so will my friends,” Thompson said. .

Adam Synder calls it a game-changer to inspire the next generation of healthcare and IT professionals, as well as makers in northeast Ohio.

“That’s where people fall in love with manufacturing is when you go into a factory and see the equipment and the robots and the people interacting and the teams working to create something,” he said. declared.

Michael A. Bynum