LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Careers in the medical field or public service usually require a college degree, but Lansing schools are looking to change that by creating more career tech programs.

The Lansing School District just received a huge grant from the federal government. They plan to use the money to help train the next generation of firefighters, medical workers, environmental specialists, fashion designers and more.

“For children, we want them to be engaged in their learning,” said Superintendent Ben Schuldiner.

The U.S department of education awarded Lansing schools a $14.9 million grant to support three programs.

“This will actually incorporate math and history and science and English and it’ll be a full four-year high school where kids starting in 9th grade will be able to come in, learn skills, learn trades become firefighters, all the different programs we have,” Schuldiner said.

The funding will support programs for all ages, including the K-8 Montessori program at Wexford, a four-year career and technical high school at Hill Center, and a brand new program to teach kids about the environment.

“The idea here is that a child will start as early as Pre-K learning about the environment, and then coming up and ending at the Ebersole institute where they’ll do six months to a year really getting hands-on skills about the environment,” Schuldiner said.

The goal? Every student will be certified in a specific trade by the time they graduate.
And that’s something the director of ambulance services in Clinton County is excited about.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking welders, plumbers, landscaping guys, or EMS providers. We’re all in need of help,” said Director of Clinton Ambulance Lynn Weber. Weber says they are short-staffed so every little bit helps.

Lansing schools hope programs like this will spark even more change.

“All of these programs. Montessori is very much a hands-on based curriculum. CTE is hands-on based. And environmental science, you get to play in the mud and grow things! So it’s really powerful,” said Schuldiner.

The superintendent says he hopes the high school along with the environmental studies institute will be open by next fall.