LSU, Penn State and the 2020 stumbles of college football’s power programs come to light in Week 14

It has been just 11 months since LSU topped Clemson 42-25 in the College Football Playoff National Championship, completing what might have been the best season by a team in the sport’s history. And it already feels ancient.

On Saturday, LSU will stumble toward its 2020 finish line with a makeup date against Alabama that perfectly encapsulates all that has gone wrong for the Tigers in the past 11 months.

This week, head coach Ed Orgeron lamented the latest opt-out of a star player, as WR Terrace Marshall ended his time with the program. Orgeron spoke glowingly of his former players, the stars of 2019, now off to spectacular starts in the NFL. He did his best to add some optimism to a lost season, promising the 3-4 Tigers would “be champions again” at some point.

But when Orgeron was asked whether his team was better equipped today to face Alabama than it would have been three weeks ago, when the game was originally scheduled to be played, his answer felt pretty telling of all that 2020 has wrought for the defending champs.

“Yes,” Orgeron said, “because now we have enough players to play the game.”

After winning the CFP championship last season, 2020 has been much harder on Ed Orgeron and 3-4 LSU. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

LSU is among the most prominent examples of 2020’s misfortunes.

But Orgeron’s misery is nothing compared to what has happened at Penn State. The Nittany Lions won their first game of the season last week, but that’s hardly enough to forget how inept they looked during an unprecedented 0-5 start. Now, Penn State travels to Rutgers this weekend with more potential embarrassment waiting around every corner.

The team Penn State beat last weekend might be in a worse position. Michigan just canceled its game with Maryland this weekend, COVID-19’s intrusion into the Wolverines’ locker room the latest problem for embattled coach Jim Harbaugh.

Look around the standings and it’s not hard to find programs that ended 2019 on a high note — Louisville, Baylor, Utah, Tennessee — that might now be wondering if playing this season was worth all the trouble. And that doesn’t even touch on Nebraska. No team has ever pushed harder or argued louder for the right to go 1-4.

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Orgeron, for one, refused to blame COVID-19 for the setbacks, but it is fair to wonder whether LSU-Alabama or Tennessee-Florida or Virginia Tech-Clemson might be a whole lot more interesting if everything off the field in 2020 had been — well, a whole lot less interesting.

“Nobody wants to go through a season like this, but I do believe we’re building character and grit that will help us later on,” Orgeron said. “You always have to represent LSU with pride, and the standard is very high. We haven’t met that. I’m not going

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UMass Dartmouth, Bridgewater State launch accelerated programs

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The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Bridgewater State University have announced two joint accelerated master of science programs in physics and electrical engineering. The educational partnership agreement between the institutions will provide undergraduate students at BSU with an accelerated pathway to earning a graduate degree at UMass Dartmouth.

Undergraduate students in the physics, photonics and optical engineering program in the Bartlett College of Science and Mathematics at BSU will be able to seamlessly earn a master’s degree in physics or electrical engineering in the College of Engineering at UMass Dartmouth.

During their junior or senior year, BSU students can begin taking graduate courses at UMass Dartmouth while finishing their undergraduate degrees at BSU. This unique opportunity offers students an accelerated pathway to successfully attain their academic goals affordably. Importantly, the agreement focuses on student academic support measures including advising and research opportunities throughout the student’s educational journey.

“This partnership offers an expedited and cost-effective opportunity for students to enter STEM fields that provide them with meaningful career opportunities,” said Michael Goodman, acting provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at UMass Dartmouth. “These are fields where there is a clear need for more skilled workers, which makes this a real win-win for both our students and the regional economy.”

Dr. Karim Ismaili, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at BSU, agreed that the accelerated pathway will extend the mutual commitment of both institutions to affordability and quality, with a focus on innovation.

“Bridgewater State University and UMass Dartmouth are committed to helping students take advantage of opportunities that will help them succeed now and, in the future,” said Ismaili. “This partnership is a powerful example of how two public institutions can work together to achieve these important goals.”

The collaboration began with faculty at both institutions working on ways to create more hands-on STEM learning and research experiences for students.

The two Southeastern Massachusetts institutions have a strong history of collaboration to offer training and career opportunities to diverse student learners to meet the needs of the workforce through education and lifelong learning.

In 2018, the UMass School of Law at UMass Dartmouth and BSU began offering a joint Law/Master of Social Work program that allows students to earn both degrees in four years rather than five. By collaborating on the program, the schools enable students to enter public service with a uniquely defined skill set and less student debt.

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Akron Public Schools receives $1.5 million grant for college and career readiness programs

AKRON, Ohio – United Way of Summit & Medina announced Tuesday it has secured a $1.5 million grant from the Hewlett Foundation that will go toward college and career readiness programs at Akron Public Schools.


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Akron’s College and Career Academies began in 2017 and are now offered at each high school, providing students with vocational training and other field-specific opportunities in one of about 60 career paths. The grant money will go toward expanding the academies, including in Akron’s elementary and middle schools, and supporting the programs which have moved online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the United Way of Summit & Medina said in a news release.

The United Way and school district are also seeking to make students more engaged in their learning and to enlist the support of parents and the community by sharing information about student learning and involving them in decision-making.

“Their grant award in the amount of $1.5 million will go a long way to address the social and emotional needs of our students as we navigate our way out of the current COVID-19 pandemic,” said Superintendent David James. “Having United Way of Summit & Medina serve as the fiscal agent for this grant is indicative of the partnership that we share in serving our community in reaching our Bold Goals.”

The district established its so-called Bold Goals in 2017 in collaboration with the United Way. Bold Goal 1 calls for 65% of third-graders to be reading at or above their grade level by 2025, and Bold Goal 2 calls for 90% of high-schoolers graduating in four years and 60% being college- or career-ready.

James discussed the district’s progress in reaching the Bold Goals during his State of the Schools address in February. From 2016 to 2018, the percentage of third-graders reading at their grade level rose from 37.9% to 49.5%, and the district’s graduation rate increased from 74.3% to 79.8%, he said.

“Making sure that our students feel empowered as they learn and grow makes a difference in how they perceive themselves well after graduation,” said Jim Mullen, president and CEO of United Way of Summit & Medina. “Also, having parents and the community play a role in the education process shows the students that learning is more than just the student-teacher relationship. We all have a stake in our students’ futures. United Way is proud to continue to grow our partnership with Akron Public Schools and thankful for the support of the Hewlett Foundation.”

This is the first time the Akron school district has received a grant from the California-based Hewlett Foundation, which was founded in 1966 by Flora and William R. Hewlett, co-founder of the Hewlett-Packard computer and software company. The foundation reported awarding more than $450 million in grants in 2019 to support causes including education, environmental preservation, performing arts, economic development and women’s health.


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College basketball tips off, but COVID-19 cancels games, pauses programs

Nov. 25 (UPI) — More than 200 Division I men’s and women’s college basketball games are planned for Wednesday to tip off the 2020-2021 season, with thousands of athletes on courts around the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But not all games will go on.

The pandemic has impacted this year’s schedule, with games originally planned to start Nov. 10, but then delayed until Wednesday.

Dozens of men’s and women’s games and tournaments have been canceled or postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests for players and coaches at different programs.

Baylor, ranked No. 1 in the men’s basketball coaches poll, and No. 8 Duke are among the top teams that won’t take the floor Wednesday due to positive tests.

No. 3 Villanova, No. 4 Virginia, No. 6 Iowa, No. 7 Wisconsin, No. 9 Kentucky and No. 10 Illinois will start their seasons Wednesday. No. 2 Gonzaga will battle No. 5 Kansas on Thursday in their season opener.

Many college basketball programs will not allow fans to attend games this season as a coronavirus safety precaution, while other programs plan limited capacities.

Villanova, Gonzaga, Baylor and Iowa are among the favorites to win the 2021 men’s title on most sports betting websites. Kentucky, Virginia, Kansas, Duke, Illinois and Wisconsin also are among the programs expected to contend.

Wednesday’s games will air on ESPN platforms, FS1, FS2, CBSN, and a variety of conference-owned networks.

East Tennessee State will take on Abilene Christian in the first men’s matchup of the day, at 11 a.m. EST. The first broadcast matchup will features Florida College against South Florida and air at 11:30 a.m. EST on ESPN+.

UCLA will battle San Diego State in the final men’s game at 10:30 p.m. EST Wednesday on CBSSN.

Women’s matchups

The University of Connecticut — one of the most successful women’s basketball programs in history — paused its season Monday and postponed its first four games after a positive COVID-19 test emerged from within the team.

Despite UConn’s absence from a wealth of women’s season openers, plenty of other top programs fill Wednesday’s schedule.

No. 1 South Carolina will host Charleston in the first televised game of the women’s season. That game has a noon EST tip off and will air on the SEC Network. No. 2 Stanford will battle Cal Poly at 2 p.m. EST, but that game won’t be televised nationally.

No. 4 Baylor will take on Central Arkansas at 8 p.m. on ESPN+. No. 5 Louisville — which had their initial season opener canceled — will take on Southeast Missouri State in a late-scheduled game at 3 p.m. EST on ESPN+.

March Madness plans include single sites

Virginia and Baylor won the most recent men’s and women’s Division I basketball titles, respectively, but weren’t able to defend those titles because the 2020 tournament was canceled.

NCAA officials announced in mid-November that they are in “preliminary talks” with the state of Indiana and city of Indianapolis to host the annual 68-team men’s tournament in March and April.

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Morgan State University, Northern Virginia Community College receive grants for job training programs

At Morgan State, a historically Black university that serves more than 7,700 students in Baltimore, the gift will support academic programs in cryptocurrency, blockchain and mergers and acquisitions, said David Wilson, the school’s president.

“You would have to look long, very long, and hard to find African Americans, in particular, in those areas,” Wilson said. “Bank of America has recognized that and has raised its hand to say, ‘We have to do something about this, and it has to go beyond checking a box.’ ”

Anne Kress, president of the more than 51,000-student Northern Virginia Community College, said the grant will fund scholarships and provide support for FastForward — a short-term workforce credential program that trains students for jobs in the health care and information technology fields. Most programs take between six and 12 weeks to complete.

Kress said short-term programs have gained popularity “because people can plan for that length of time.” The unpredictability of the pandemic has made it difficult for many students to plan their lives around traditional 15-week semesters.

“This is an incredible investment by Bank of America,” Kress said, adding that her students — more than half of whom are people of color — are overrepresented in industries hit hardest by the pandemic, including retail and service jobs. She said she plans to use the grant to lead students into higher paying, more stable careers.

“If you’re a first-generation student and you’re from a neighborhood where no one’s worked in cybersecurity before . . . you don’t know those careers exist,” Kress said.

The Bank of America grant comes as corporations and philanthropists look to invest in historically Black universities and other schools with large minority enrollment in a year marked by protests over police violence and racial inequity. Amid a reckoning of racism has come a financial one, aimed at reversing decades of underinvestment in communities of color.

But the track records of these corporations can raise skepticism. At Bank of America — which just last year paid a $4.2 million settlement after being accused of discriminating against Black, Hispanic and female jobs applicants — about 19 percent of executive and senior-level managers at the company are minorities, according to 2019 data from the company. The company denied allegations of discrimination.

This year, Bank of America unveiled plans to change course, committing $1 billion over the next four years to assist communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, invest in minority-owned small businesses, promote affordable housing and support students of color.

“We can help address the widespread inequities in our communities by providing students with the resources they need for future employment and advancing economic mobility,” said Sabina Kelly, Greater Maryland market president for Bank of America.

Campus leaders say the investment is welcomed. It’s also overdue.

“Institutions such as Morgan, have long served as valuable pipelines to an overabundance of brilliant and highly capable African American talent,” Wilson said, “often untapped and underrepresented.”

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Canzano: University of Portland basketball programs preparing to hurdle Gov. Kate Brown and move out of state

The University of Portland is exploring out-of-state options that would allow its men’s and women’s basketball programs the ability to hold practices and host games, The Oregonian/OregonLive has learned.

I can’t say I’m surprised.

Also, not shocked that the State of Oregon won’t recognize the role it played in sweeping a couple of Division 1 college basketball programs across state lines.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown refused to grant UP the same exception that she gave to both Oregon and Oregon State last month. The Pilots submitted protocols and procedures that mirrored those of the Pac-12 universities, but were denied twice. The governor’s office said it simply isn’t issuing any new exemptions and asked the programs to try again in six to 12 weeks.

Basically, the governor would like UP’s athletes to go away. And it turns out, they are listening to her.

Again, you can ice skate and go bowling in Oregon today. You can go to a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. The governor issued exemptions to allow all of that. The Ducks and Beavers basketball programs can also hold full basketball practices today, too. But if UP — and Portland State — want to practice, even with stringent protocols and testing, they will have to drive into a neighboring state.

In fact, they’re apparently warming up the cars at UP.

Pilots athletic director Scott Leykam declined comment on Monday when I asked him if UP was planning to relocate the basketball programs for practices and games. Multiple sources, however, confirmed that the Pilots are exploring locations in Washington, Nevada and Idaho.

An employee at the Hilton Hotel in Vancouver confirmed that someone acting on behalf of UP called on Friday and inquired about the ceiling height of the hotel’s ballroom. Also, if it would be OK with taking delivery of a hardwood basketball court.

Not a prank.

Just where we are today.

Sort of pathetic, isn’t it?

Turns out the ceiling height isn’t quite enough for basketball. But this is next-level absurdity, even for 2020. The right move is for Gov. Brown to announce that exemptions will not be selectively handed out and reserved only for her favorite programs.

If the aim of our state government is to keep students safe and limit the spread of the virus, chasing people across state lines doesn’t feel like the right tactic. Consistent and clear guidelines would be a good start. Daily testing, too. If UP can exactly copy the protocols approved at Oregon and OSU, doesn’t it work for everyone?

It’s beyond frustrating.

Leykam Tweeted last week in support of his athletes, asking Gov. Brown to treat UP’s athletes equally.

“They have prepared a lifetime for this moment,” Leykam’s tweet read. “We are willing to meet any and all protocols the state requests. Let us play.”

I keep thinking about the Pilots’ women’s basketball team. They were one of the great stories of March, winning the West Coast Conference Tournament in Las Vegas and earning the conference’s automatic berth to the

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A&E Will Show Off 2021 Programs to Advertisers After Upfront Season

TV’s “upfront” sales session is more or less over. But that doesn’t mean A+E Networks has closed the sales window.

The company, which operates A&E, History, Lifetime and several other cable networks, plans to hold a half-hour showcase to highlight its 2021 programming. The preview will be made available between October 27 and 29, and will feature appearances by Tim Allen, Laurence Fishburne, Morgan Freeman, Salt-N-Pepa, Wendy Williams and others, who will help highlight more than 1500 hours of original content.

“Our business is 52 weeks a year and that’s why it is critical for content providers to have an enormous cache of immediately available, premium content. We are so fortunate to have a programming team that delivers a continuous pipeline of exciting projects across our distinctive brands,” said Peter Olsen, president of ad sales for A+E Networks, in a statement. “We continue to provide brand clarity to our audiences and advertisers along with partnership opportunities and sales solutions that work.”

A+E calls on potential sponsors after months of bickering between media companies and big advertisers over whether the industry’s “upfront,” when it tries to sell the bulk of its commercial inventory, needs to change in seismic fashion. As many big TV advertisers were forced by the coronavirus pandemic to delay purchases of ad time, several big marketers — including Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Mastercard — called for the annual sales session, which is usually conducted in late spring and summer — be moved so that sponsors might buy time later in the year. The networks agreed to do so, but some media buyers say that clients who could not commit money in more regular fashion ended up paying higher prices overall.

A+E intends to offer a look at “Great Escapes with Morgan Freeman,” “History’s Greatest Mysteries,’ hosted by Laurence Fishburne, and “Assembly Required with Tim Allen,” all shown on History. Highlights from A&E will include “Voices Magnified” and “Hustle & Tow,” as well as “Kisstory” and “WWE,” both of which are Biography presentations. Lifetime will call attention to “Married at First Sight,” “Unmatchables,” “Wendy Williams: Hot Topic,” more than 30 hours of holiday-movie originals and original Lifetime Movies about Salt-n-Pepa and Mahalia Jackson, the last presented by “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts.

The pandemic’s effect on production remains a concern across the industry. A+E will cite its 40,000 hours of library programming that will give it the ability to fill in any gaps in production of original content.









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College hockey programs in Maine hoping for a season during pandemic

University of Maine forward Tim Doherty, right, celebrates a goal with teammate Jakub Sirota during a game against the University of Nebraska-Omaha on Jan. 3, 2020 at Alfond Arena in Orono. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Like many people, Red Gendron has a lot on his mind these days.

“I look at how hard so many people have worked under intense pressure,” said Gendron, University of Maine men’s hockey coach. “It’s inspirational to me.”

Gendron is preparing his team for a season during the coronavirus pandemic that could begin in late November or, perhaps, not at all.

He’s not alone; many college hockey programs across the state are anxiously waiting to see what comes of a 2020-21 season.

The Black Bears compete in Division I Hockey East, which has yet to announce a schedule for the season, although Gendron said he anticipates that coming in the next few weeks with a late November start.

Colby and Bowdoin colleges, who compete in Division III, received some clarity when the New England Small College Athletic Conference announced it had canceled conference competition and championships for the 2020-21 winter sports season.

Others, like the University of Southern Maine and the University of New England, are in a wait-and-see mode.

“The hard part is all the unknowns,” said USM women’s hockey coach John Lauziere. “We could be doing all the right things, and something could happen at an opponent’s school that shuts it all down.”

Earlier this month, a hockey referee tested positive for COVID-19 after officiating multiple games in Maine and New Hampshire. The incident spurred debate about safety guidelines in youth hockey leagues across the state.

College hockey coaches acknowledged they’re aware of the youth hockey situation.

“I’m actually surprised the guy wasn’t wearing a mask (officiating) youth hockey,” Lauziere said.

Lauziere added that his team wears masks while practicing three or four times per week, and will continue to do so until USM students leave for an extended winter break the week of Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, at UMaine, Gendron and women’s hockey head coach Richard Reichenbach said their teams have progressed from practicing in small groups of eight to full-team workouts. Both Black Bear squads are wearing masks and using multiple locker rooms to change before and after practice.The Black Bears compete in Hockey East, which hasn’t released a schedule yet.

University of New England players celebrate after a goal against Colby College during a 2018 Division III playoff game in Biddeford. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

UMaine students will go home at Thanksgiving break and finish the semester remotely. That could give Black Bear student-athletes still on campus an unanticipated boost.

“Students are gone for break, that creates the best version of a pod you could ask for on a campus,” Reichenbach said.

Both Black Bears squads would already be well into their seasons in a typical year. The men’s team opened last season on Oct. 5 at Providence, while the women began play Sept. 27 with an exhibition game against the University

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Ascendis Pharma A/S Announces Presentations for its Endocrinology Rare Disease Clinical Programs at Upcoming Medical Conferences

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Oct. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ASND), a biopharmaceutical company that utilizes its innovative TransCon™ technologies to address unmet medical needs, today announced five presentations featuring the company’s endocrinology rare disease programs at two upcoming medical conferences: European Calcified Tissue Society (ECTS) 2020, taking place online October 22–24, 2020, and the Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society (PENS) national conference, taking place online November 2–5, 2020.

During ECTS, results from the phase 2 PaTH Forward Trial of TransCon PTH in adult hypoparathyroidism (HP) will be presented. During PENS, data from the phase 3 fliGHt Trial of TransCon hGH (lonapegsomatropin) in pediatric growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and from two clinical trials of the auto-injector for lonapegsomatropin. Additionally, the company will present posters highlighting the impact of achondroplasia (ACH) on the quality of life in children and their parents, which will help inform the TransCon CNP program.

“Ascendis Pharma is committed to supporting the endocrinology community, and we are excited to present data across all three of our endocrinology rare disease programs,” said Aimee Shu, M.D., Senior Medical Director, Clinical Development at Ascendis Pharma. “The data being presented at this year’s ECTS and PENS meetings highlight our portfolio of investigational product candidates and demonstrate important clinical and quality of life outcomes for patients and caregivers, including our first presentation of clinical data on our proprietary auto-injector for lonapegsomatropin.”

Presentation Details


Poster Presentation





Design and Topline Results of TransCon PTH, a Long-acting Parathyroid Hormone (PTH), Phase 2 Trial in Patients with Hypoparathyroidism


Presented on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 4:55–5:00 p.m. (CST) with live Q&A to follow.


PENS 2020

Poster Presentations





Introduction of a Novel GH Auto-Injector for Once-weekly Administration of TransCon hGH (lonapegsomatropin)


Posters are available during PENS with live Q&A on Thursday, November 5, 2020 from 2:15–2:45 p.m. (ET).


Treatment Experience of Children with Growth Hormone Deficiency in the Phase 3 fliGHt Trial: Switching from Daily Growth Hormone to Once-weekly TransCon hGH (lonapegsomatropin)



Pediatric Achondroplasia: Impacts on Children’s Functioning and Well-being



Experiences of Parents of Children with Achondroplasia: Impacts on Quality of Life



The posters will be available on the Ascendis website under Selected Publications in the Pipeline section:   If you are a healthcare provider who would like more information, please contact: [email protected]

About TransCon™ Technology Platform

TransCon refers to “transient conjugation.” The proprietary TransCon platform is an innovative technology to create new therapies that are designed to potentially optimize therapeutic effect, including efficacy, safety and dosing frequency. TransCon molecules have three components: an unmodified parent drug, an inert carrier that protects it, and a linker that temporarily binds the two. When bound, the carrier inactivates and shields the parent drug from clearance. When injected into the body, physiologic conditions (e.g., pH and temperature) initiate the release of the active, unmodified parent drug in a predictable manner. Because the parent drug is unmodified, its original mode of action is expected to be maintained. TransCon technologies can be

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JP Morgan Chase announces $7 million commitment to Nashville career pathway programs

Nashville is one of six cities slated to receive $7 million from JPMorgan Chase to support career pathways for underrepresented students, the company announced Tuesday.

a sign on the side of a road: JP Morgan Chase & Co. | Banking, financial services | 2019 employees: 10,000 | 2018 employees: 10,400 | Ownership: Public | Headquarters: New York |

© Andrew Burton/Getty Images
JP Morgan Chase & Co. | Banking, financial services | 2019 employees: 10,000 | 2018 employees: 10,400 | Ownership: Public | Headquarters: New York |

The commitment is part of JPMorgan Chase’s New Skills at Work investment, one branch of the company’s $350 million, five-year global initiative that aims to meet a growing demand for skilled workers, according to a news release from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.


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In Nashville, the New Skills Ready program will support underrepresented students from four Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools high schools as they transition to Nashville State Community College, where they will earn credentials or degrees in anticipation of entering the workforce.

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“Nashville has built a strong foundation for career and technical education,” Erika Wright, head of philanthropy for JP Morgan Chase in Tennessee, said in the news release. “This investment will expand and enhance that important work to provide high-quality career pathways to students who had been left behind in Nashville’s powerful economic transformation.”

Whites Creek, Pearl-Cohn, Maplewood and Overton high schools will be the project’s initial focus. Each of these schools serves high concentrations of economically disadvantaged students and students of color, according to the release.

The New Skills Ready program aims to address and reduce barriers to education and employment that these students face, including systemic inequality and barriers to post-secondary opportunities and work-based learning, allowing students to pursue non-traditional pathways to high-demand careers.

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“Thanks to the support of JPMorgan Chase, we can provide even greater opportunities and pathways for our students so that they can leave high school and be prepared to succeed in our growing economy,” MNPS Director Adrienne Battle stated in the release. “Our partnerships with Nashville State and the Nashville Chamber will help to show our students their unlimited potential if they work hard and focus on their future success.”

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce will steward the program in cooperation with multiple state and local partners in both public and private sectors.

Partners include:

  • Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
  • Nashville State Community College
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • The Scarlett Family Foundation
  • The Tennessee Department of Education
  • The Tennessee Higher Education Commission
  • The Tennessee Board of Regents
  • The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
  • Employers

In addition to Nashville, Denver, Dallas, Boston, Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio will receive funds as part of the New Skills Ready program.

Cassandra Stephenson covers business at The Tennessean, part of the USA Today Network

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