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PAST Workforce Development Summer Program Receives Deloitte Foundation Grant


Media Contacts: Lori Trent, PAST Foundation -

April 5, 2024

PAST Workforce Development Summer Program Receives

Deloitte Foundation Grant

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Deloitte Foundation has provided PAST Foundation’s Workforce Development Summer Program with a one-time grant of $22,000 to support student costs associated with the program. The grant will enable young women and racially and ethnically diverse high school students from the Columbus area to participate in the SMART Skills part of the Workforce Development Program to earn industry-recognized credentials while engaging in career exploration and skill-building activities in various STEM pathways including CAD & additive manufacturing, drone flight, media production, and cybersecurity, among others.

Volunteers, including Columbus-based Deloitte* professionals, have also provided hands-on instruction and support to the program for the past two years. Several professionals from Deloitte’s Columbus office recently visited the PAST Innovation Lab to tour the facility and present the grant check on behalf of the Deloitte Foundation.

“The work that PAST Foundation does in the field of innovative education is truly remarkable. Upon first visiting PAST, we were immediately energized by seeing the facility, meeting the staff and the students,” said John White, principal of Deloitte Consulting LLP, who is based in Columbus. “The grant from the Deloitte Foundation, which helps accelerate equity, innovation, and excellence in education, will help prepare these students for the jobs of tomorrow.”

“One of the things that I most enjoy is watching our students grow and transform into young adults with the confidence needed to enter a rapidly evolving workforce,” said Nikki Stancampiano, PAST workforce development coordinator. “The opportunity for high school scholars to explore their skill sets and interests, gain hands-on experience in a variety of fields, and begin to realize their full potential, in many instances, is life changing. The program serves a wide cross-section of students from various cultures, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds. This aspect also helps promote an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

When Stancampiano joined PAST in 2022, she assumed the leadership position for the workforce development programs. Although the program has been tweaked over the years, the goal remains the same – providing a multi-week career exploration and work-based learning internship for youth, in 9th – 12th grade. This program provides opportunities for students to work with industry specialists, develop interpersonal skills, earn industry credentials, all while getting paid.

“This work is extremely important especially on the heels of corporate expansion in Ohio,” said Annalies Corbin, president and CEO of PAST. “We have been working on initiatives to help prepare students to be the leaders, thinkers and problem-solvers necessary for the future for nearly 25 years, but now, the impact on Ohio has a new-found meaning. In addition, Ohio’s Lt. Governor Jon Husted leads the Office of Workforce Transformation which works to identify the employment needs of Ohio businesses and bridge the employment shortfall by supporting programs that help students acquire critical skills.”

This summer’s workforce plans are underway.

About the Deloitte Foundation:

The Deloitte Foundation, founded in 1928, is a not-for-profit organization that supports education in the U.S. through a variety of initiatives that help develop the next generation of diverse business leaders, and their influencers, and promote excellence in teaching, research and curriculum innovation. The Foundation sponsors an array of national programs relevant to a variety of professional services, benefiting high school students, undergraduates, graduate students and educators. Learn more about the Deloitte Foundation.

*Please see for a detailed description of its legal structure.

About PAST Foundation:

PAST, a non-profit organization, is a leader in designing innovative educational opportunities across the nation and around the world, bringing problem-based learning to educators and experiential programs to students. For nearly 25 years, PAST has impacted over 2.75 million students and thousands of educators while engaging hundreds of businesses and industry leaders. Building a community of learners that helps students prepare to solve the world’s problems is our core outcome.

PAST was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for its Excellence in Innovation in the STEM 2026 vision report, being the only Ohio educational entity included in this publication. In 2021, PAST’s Innovation Lab was featured in Forbes Magazine as a promising example to “Re-imagine High School” and also recognized by the White House Summit on High School Design in 2015.

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