The Heinz Endowments has announced the launch of a new education initiative to help youth and young adults meet the employment and civic demands of a constantly changing society. The foundation is investing $700,000 in the creation of the Pittsburgh Readiness Institute (PRI), beginning with a six-week summer program for approximately 50 high school students that will serve as a pilot for the PRI strategy. Based on the outcome of the pilot, PRI’s roll-out will continue next year with an updated program that expands beyond the summer, culminating in 2022 with establishing a year-round program.
PRI’s educational approach involves providing participants the opportunity to work for pay on real-world projects that provide solutions to industry and community problems. By collaborating with schools, employers and civic leaders, the institute is believed to be the country’s first out-of-school-time training program that focuses on helping students develop the skills, attitudes and values to become what the program calls “community and future ready” for a productive life at school, on the job and in society.