JMCSS receives $100,000 state grant to support L.O.O.P.

August 30, 2018

JMCSS logoThe Jackson-Madison County School System has been awarded $100,000 in funds, from the Tennessee Department of Education’s New Skills for Youth (NSFY) Grant, to support the new L.O.O.P. Initiative. L.O.O.P., which stands for Local Options and Opportunities Program, will offer students the chance to attend classes half of the day and get hands-on, paid work experience in an advanced manufacturing setting the other half. The L.O.O.P. opportunity will be open to approximately 20 seniors from across the district. The work-based learning program is set to begin in January 2019.

The grant will be used to purchase industry specific trainers and equipment and will allow the district to accelerate the L.O.O.P. initiative and reach more students. “Without this grant, we would either not be able to purchase this equipment or it would take several years to accumulate the pieces,” said Jennifer Barham, CTE Supervisor.

The equipment, such as a motor control trainer, mechanical trainer and AC/DC trainer, will be purchased during the fall semester. “This equipment will give students a head start on probing and troubleshooting equipment and situations similar to those found in the manufacturing setting,” explained Barham. “Students will also be required to demonstrate certain skillsets while earning their industry certifications that would not be possible without this equipment.”

L.O.O.P. will not only allow students to earn a paycheck while learning work skills and earning their high school diploma, it will allow them to transition seamlessly into job opportunities or post-secondary training programs right after graduation. Advanced manufacturing is an area of high need in the West Tennessee region and equipping students with technical skills in this field will prepare them for a competitive job market and maximize their earning potential after high school and as they enter post-secondary training. “This grant is a great addition to the efforts the district is making to strengthen our workforce development programs,” said Dr. Jared Myracle, Chief Academic Officer. “Being one of the few districts in the state selected for this grant, we will be able to continue to expand the options and opportunities available for our students.”

“We are committed to preparing our students for post-secondary and the workforce,” said Dr. Eric Jones, JMCSS Superintendent. “L.O.O.P. is a comprehensive program that is the epitome of our commitment to offering rigorous early college and career options and opportunities for our students.”

The NSFY grant, an initiative of J.P. Morgan, focuses on increasing the number of students who are prepared for careers in high-demand, high-wage jobs in their communities and across the state. JMCSS was also awarded a $12,000 grant from the TDOE’s Perkins Reserve, which will be used to pay for industry certifications for students in L.O.O.P and throughout the district.

Parents or students interested in learning more about the L.O.O.P. initiative can email Jennifer Barham.

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L.O.O.P. Partners for 2018-19:

Stanley Black & Decker, a global diversified industrial leader of tools & storage, industrial equipment, and security products, will integrate students into manufacturing jobs including assembly, machine operations, and various support roles.

TBDN TENNESSEE COMPANY, an automotive parts manufacturer, supplies a variety of power train components for vehicles produced by Toyota, Honda, and GM. TBDN will provide students practical application of classroom learning and introduce them to the wide variety of career opportunities that modern manufacturing offers.

Old Country Store, a locally owned and operated family restaurant and travel attraction will expose students to a variety of experiences related to travel and hospitality including farm to tray, food preparation, food service, retail, and museum hospitality and upkeep.

Gourmet Your Way, a local corporate catering service, will provide students with hands-on experience with all aspects of the catering industry including customer service, food preparation, and presentation.

Tennessee College of Applied Technology will also have opportunities for students to work in advanced manufacturing to make progress toward earning industry certifications.

Stanley Black & Decker described their L.O.O.P program participation in this way: “Students have the ability to learn expectations and requirements for being successful in the workplace while also obtaining operational and technical skills for growth. The least we can do is help support and develop the effort to help both students and businesses while supporting growth and improvement of our community.” The work-based learning program is set to begin in January 2019.