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Northland Missouri Innovation Campus Captures Grant

Elle Moxley

Gov. Jay Nixon was in Kansas City, Mo., Tuesday to announce $450,000 in grants for a metro-area Missouri Innovation Campus.

The Northland CAPs program connects high school students from six local districts to nearby employers, where they learn job skills while earning college credit.

"That's a win for our colleges and universities, a win for Missouri business and, more importantly, a win for our students," said Nixon.

National non-profit USA Funds awarded Missouri $1 million to expand the Innovation Campus program last fall. 

"Those are competitive grants, folks," said Nixon. "Extremely competitive. This excellence is being noticed."

Sahaja Atluri, a senior at Platte County High School, is part of a pre-medical program at North Kansas City Hospital that helped screen student athletes for heart problems.

"We ended up getting 13 screenings," said Atluri. "Out of them, we detected three major problems. That's three lives we saved."

The businesses who provide the students with internships also say they're seeing the benefits from the program. 

"We have been giving the kids real-world problems, problems that are on our to-do list," said Mike Stradinger, CEO of manufacturing company Holland 1916 . "We give them stuff that we're not going to be able to get to that's important, so important it made our to-do list. We have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the work we get."

Elle Moxley covered education for KCUR.
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