BOSTON – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) and State Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) announce that Woburn Memorial High School (WMHS) has been awarded a $50,000 Innovation Pathways Implementation and Support Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
Innovation Career Pathways (ICP) allows students to take courses and gain valuable hands-on experience in high-demand industries such as information technology, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, engineering, and healthcare. The targeted state grants provide resources to designated Innovation Career Pathways to support program implementation.
“I’m thrilled to see Woburn Memorial High School receive this grant award from the state to support their Innovation Career Pathways program,” said Representative Haggerty. “The program provides Woburn students, in and outside the classroom, the opportunity to gain real-world, hands-on work experience in partnership with industry. Congratulations to the administrators, educators, and partners who helped secure this grant award and for their hard work to make this program a reality for Woburn students.”
“This grant award comes at such a critical time for our young residents and our workforce,” said Senator Friedman. “Given the shortages of employees in critical areas like healthcare, as well as the rising cost of higher education, this grant will provide students with pathways that can lead to good-paying, high-quality, and innovative jobs. I am very proud to see DESE sponsoring this program at Woburn Memorial High School and look forward to seeing its success on display soon.”
WMHS received its ICP designation from DESE in 2020 for the approved pathways of Advanced Manufacturing and Environmental and Life Sciences. The funding will help support these programs by funding students taking advanced coursework of dual enrollment classes through higher education partners, in addition to enrichment opportunities outside of the classroom to include field trips and speakers. WMHS staff instructing ICP courses will also benefit from grant funding in the areas of a more robust curriculum, supplies, equipment, and compensated time for professional development.
The innovation pathways programs are based on five guiding principles including Equitable Access, Guided Academic Pathways, Enhanced Student Support, Connection to Career, and Effective Partnerships according to DESE. Through this program, schools develop and maintain strong partnerships with local employers to help enhance students’ career awareness and work-based experiences; offer a defined series of courses providing instruction in specific industries; and help guide students to post-secondary education and training.