McAuliffe unveils new precision machining lab at George Washington High School

Governor Terry McAuliffe joined state and local leaders in a ribbon-cutting ceremony this week for Danville Public Schools’ new precision machining program at George Washington High School.

terry mcauliffeModeled after a program in place at Danville Community College, this two-year training program will serve as a feeder for high school students who want to continue their studies and finish their degree at Danville Community College or another institution. With funding allocated by the Danville City Council and the J.T. – Minnie Maude Charitable Trust, renovations began to convert existing classroom spaces into a new, state-of-the art precision machining lab. This August, Danville Public Schools welcomed the first students to the new precision machining program.

“This program is transformative for the Danville community and surrounding region, providing specialized training to meet demand in the fast-growing manufacturing industry” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “The students in the first year of this program are leading the way and I’d like to thank everyone who came together who helped create this cutting-edge curriculum that will prepare Virginia students for jobs in the 21st century economy.”

“I’m proud to see my alma mater take the necessary steps to prepare students to become successful members of today’s workforce,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore.  “Machinists are in demand around the world, and the fact that Danville and Pittsylvania County have creatively addressed ways to meet that demand provides a valuable workforce development pipeline and an avenue for economic prosperity in my childhood home.  I’d like to thank everyone who worked to bring this program to fruition.”

In 2014, Danville Public Schools began collaborating with Danville Community College and the Danville Office of Economic Development Office to establish a precision machining program within Danville Public Schools. It became clear that this opportunity would be a significant step toward preparing students for real-world career training and high-paying jobs in a fast-growing market. Through the new precision machining program, students will learn to operate some of the most high-tech equipment in the world, acquiring skills they will need to work for some of the cutting-edge industries across the nation.

“This program is an historic investment that honors our community’s past success as a manufacturing hub while demonstrating our resolve to create the future we believe in for our students,” commented Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stanley B. Jones. “A 21st century learning environment should be nearly identical to an industry work environment such that our students are truly prepared to begin their careers.”

“As a community and region, we have demonstrated that by coming together and working in unison of purpose and spirit we can change and improve the economic climate and advance prosperity and quality of life for our citizens and our children,” added Dr. Bruce Scism, President of Danville Community College. “I am honored to be a part of this effort and grateful for all that has been accomplished as a team.”

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