In March 2020, MNPS was awarded $276 million through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) which was designated to help the district address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of that amount, MNPS allocated $175,000 to launch and expand work-based learning opportunities.
In October 2020, JPMorgan Chase announced a five-year, $7 million investment into the Nashville community, New Skills Ready (NSR). Focused on systems change, the NSR Collaborative convened key community stakeholders to move forward its priorities including building and scaling real-world work experiences for Nashville students. With the Collaborative’s focus on four high schools with high concentrations of economically disadvantaged students and students of color (John Overton, Maplewood, Pearl-Cohn, and Whites Creek High Schools), the district had a foundation to launch a work-based learning pilot.
Students worked over 5,000 hours & received upwards of $70,000 in wages in Year 1