Calling it Young CareerConnect, President Barack Obama said the new grants will help schools "develop and test new curricula and models for success."
"We want to invest in your future," Mr. Obama said.
The president announced the grants at Bladensburg High School in Washington's Maryland suburb, where more than 70 percent of students at the school are low-income.
A nationwide competition helped determine the 24 U.S. schools that will receive federal grants, which are the result of an executive order Mr. Obama signed last year to better prepare high school students for college or for careers.
The money comes from fees that companies pay for visas to hire foreign workers for specialized jobs.
LAUSD will receive a $7 million grant to build out new career academies in six high schools and to provide 10,000 student summer internships.
The East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program will also receive $4.5 million.
"We've got to out-work and out-innovate and out-hustle everybody else," Mr. Obama said. "We've got to think of new ways of doing things ... That's good for our economy, it's good for business, it's good for you, it's good for America."
The grant is a collaboration of the U.S. Department of Labor and the Department of Education. It supports an ambitious goal set by the administration that the U.S. will have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.