COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The City of Columbus, non-profit and private sector leaders are expected to make a major announcement Wednesday that will help students who graduate from Columbus City Schools.

Initial plans for this program came to a halt almost two years ago. Details about the effort are limited, but Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin promises they will be big.

According to the Ohio School Report Card, Columbus City Schools has a graduation rate of 81.2 percent, compared to Hillard’s 93 percent or Reynoldsburg City Schools’ 96.8 percent.

On Wednesday, details regarding a new plan that may give that number a boost, while making sure city school graduates are better prepared to enter the workforce.

“You know what? I was really blessed going through Columbus City Schools, going to Columbus Alternative High School to CAHS,” Hardin said.

He wants current city school students to have that same feeling about their time in the district.

“We started conversations with different community leaders and private sector folks about what can we do to make sure our young people knew that they were supported and make sure they were also prepared for the jobs that Columbus will have with our growth,” Hardin said. “We were set to go, then the pandemic hit.”

Hardin would not go into specifics but said the big announcement will happen Wednesday.

“Earlier this year, (President) Dr.(David) Harrison over at Columbus State called and said, ‘Shannon, are you still interested in this conversation about supporting our young people,’ because the pandemic has had an adverse effect in folks, in people of color, applying and getting some type of a skill,” he said.

What is known is that it is a multi-million-dollar effort created through public and private partnerships.

“What folks should expect is a real focus, a real community collaboration that will touch every household in our city’s school district,” Hardin said.

An investment in the next generation of leaders.

“This announcement tomorrow is ‘The Columbus Way,’ working for every family in our community, coming together, stacking hands, saying ‘We have our young people’s back,’ and that there will be something at the end, after graduation from Columbus City Schools, for all of our students,” Hardin said.

The city’s announcement is scheduled to be made Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.