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Our first competitive call for new LRNG Cities was a big success, drawing a large pool of exciting applications from across the country. The decision was tough, but on March 10 at SXSWedu in Austin, we announced a major expansion of LRNG movement with eight winners of the 2016 LRNG City Challenge.

Each of the winning cities will receive a grant of up to $50,000, made possible by support from the Fossil Foundation to begin networking learning opportunities in their communities and kick off LRNG programming this summer. They join our four pilot LRNG Cities in Chicago, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C.

We are proud to add these communities to the LRNG movement:

LRNG Central Ohio

The Central Ohio community comprises the 14 counties in the Columbus metropolitan area. Central Ohio is home to more than 270,000 youth ages 15 to 24 — 11% of whom are disconnected from school and work. With anchor organization Junior Achievement of Central Ohio, this LRNG City will focus on work readiness, entrepreneurship skills and financial literacy.

LRNG Kansas City

LRNG Kansas City is home to more than 250,000 youth ages 15 to 24 with 12.3% disconnected from school or work. As early as this Spring, Kansas City will launch an integrated job program to provide youth with a series of learning experiences certified with badges that will unlock access to specific summer jobs and opportunities. With KC Social Innovation, Think Big Partners, Kansas City Public Library, Mayor Sly James and KC STEM Alliance, this new LRNG City is bringing some heavy hitters in education to the table. With such great minds uniting, we can’t wait to see what learning opportunities come out of the Heart of America.

LRNG Philly

With 14.3% of its 107,200 youth ages 15-24 disconnected from work or school, LRNG Philly will focus on connecting local youth to hometown employers. With its anchor organizations, Digital On-Ramps and Drexel University, LRNG Philly will help local employers match workforce competencies assessed on the LRNG platform to their industry’s qualifications for a high-quality workforce. That way, they can ensure all youth are equipped with the exact skills they need to connect to careers.

LRNG Rochester

LRNG Rochester is home to more than 162,000 youth ages 15 to 24, with 13.4% disconnected from school or work. Focusing on youth in the juvenile justice system, this LRNG City is working to reverse the disconnection trend with its anchor organization, the Rochester Public Library, to help youth connect their passions to career paths.

LRNG San Diego

LRNG San Diego will serve a population of more than 320,000 youth ages 15 to 24, 14.4% of whom are disconnected from school and work. With anchor organization Fab Lab San Diego, LRNG San Diego will network its existing learning resources including Balboa Park Public Library, Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office, the maker community and a network of museums.

LRNG San Jose

LRNG San Jose plans to connect its underserved and disconnected youth — approximately 10.4% of the 480,000 youth ages 15 to 24 — to the unique career opportunities in Silicon Valley. Anchor organization Silicon Valley Education Foundation, in partnership with Kids in Common, Opportunity Youth Partnerships, The Tech Museum of Innovation, the San Jose Public Library,  and the city’s Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services department, will help young people gain the skills necessary to expand co-educational opportunities and revolutionize career pathways.

LRNG Springfield

Home of Grammy Award-winning musical artist and LRNG supporter John Legend, this city in Ohio aims to address the local opportunity gap head on by engaging students in summer learning opportunities. Anchor organization Springfield City School District is partnering with The CareerConnectED Center and YOUmedia Springfield to counteract summer learning loss through year-round programming to the city’s more than 18,000 youth ages 15 to 24. Springfield is also committed to providing fun, interactive ways for students to quantify the skills they learn over the summer just by pursuing their passions.

LRNG West Sacramento

Through anchor organization Future Ready, LRNG West Sacramento will badge anywhere, anytime learning for almost 7,000 youth ages 15 to 24. It will begin to connect business partners to Playlists and badges through work-based learning opportunities for young people.

Please join us in welcoming these ambitious new LRNG Cities. We can’t wait to see how they revolutionize the future of learning!

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