Northam announces $600,000 in grants to upgrade career and technical education equipment

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Governor Ralph Northam announced this week $600,000 in competitive grants to 16 high schools and technical centers to upgrade equipment for their career and technical education (CTE) programs. Each school or technical center will receive $37,500 to purchase new equipment and to make other necessary improvements.

“Technology is ever-changing, and our career and technical education programs must have the up-to-date equipment necessary to prepare Virginia students for the jobs of tomorrow, which includes industries like high-tech manufacturing, bioengineering, health care, and skilled trades,” said Governor Northam. “With this funding, we are making critical investments in our young people, giving them the tools and training they need to be competitive in our 21st-century economy.”

“Just like pencils, paper, and books, modern technology and equipment are necessary tools for providing high-quality and hands-on learning to students,” said Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “These grants will support much-needed equipment upgrades which help facilitate excellent teaching and learning relevant to the needs of our local economies.”

The awards, by school division, are as follows:

  • Alexandria — Governor’s Health Sciences Academy at T.C. Williams High School (hemocytometer and microcentrifuge equipment for processing DNA protein electrophoresis)
  • Buchanan County — Buchanan County CTE Center (multi-virtual machine system for cybersecurity simulations)
  • Buckingham County — Buckingham CTE Center (computer numerical control plasma cutting equipment)
  • Franklin County — Franklin County High School (electronic HVAC simulation trainer)
  • Henrico County — Highland Springs Technical Center (precision machining computer numerical control knee mill)
  • Lynchburg — Lynchburg Regional Governor’s STEM Academy (automated robotics and mechatronic digital electronics equipment)
  • Montgomery County — Governor’s STEM Academy at Christiansburg High School (advanced manufacturing equipment: waterjet cutting 3D printer and vibratory finishing chamber)
  • Petersburg — Petersburg High School (interactive manikin patient simulator, vital signs monitor and electronic hospital beds)
  • Prince Edward County — Prince Edward High School (interactive geriatric patient simulator)
  • Spotsylvania County — Spotsylvania CTE Center (interactive anatomy simulator)
  • Stafford County — North Stafford High School (virtual augmented reality interactive learning lab)
  • Staunton — Robert E. Lee High School (virtual augmented reality interactive learning lab)
  • Suffolk — Pruden Technical Center (heavy equipment operator training simulator)
  • Virginia Beach — Advanced Technology Center (virtual reality arc welding system)
  • Warren County — Blue Ridge Technical Center (computer numerical control machining and electric motor control learning system)
  • Washington County — Washington County CTE Center (computer numerical control plasma cutting equipment)

“CTE programs prepare students for career opportunities in fields that are important to their communities,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane. “Replacing outdated equipment and purchasing the technology needed to support instruction in new career pathways are essential for CTE programs to remain relevant and ensure that graduates are ready for the 21st-century workplace.”

The competitive grant program was approved by the 2016 General Assembly, with the first grants to schools and technical centers awarded in 2017.

The grant program gives priority to challenged schools, Governor’s STEM Academies, and Governor’s Health Science Academies.

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