Virginia announces awards to upgrade tech education gear

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In a move to bolster career and technical education programs across Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced $600,000 in competitive grants to upgrade equipment at high schools and technical centers in 16 counties.

The grant program gives priority to challenged schools, Governor’s STEM Academies and Governor’s Health Science Academies. Each school or center will receive $37,500 to purchase new equipment and make other necessary improvements.

“The Governor’s grant program will play a critical role in the academic and professional success of our students,” Secretary of Education Dietra Trent said in a statement released on Thursday. “By providing our high schools and technical centers with the resources they need to modernize their CTE programs, we are making a wise investment in our shared future.”

McAuliffe, a Democrat, noted that the grants “will allow the Commonwealth to better provide our young people with the cutting-edge skills and in-demand training they need to fill the jobs of the 21st century workforce.”

The grant program was proposed by McAuliffe in 2016 and approved by the General Assembly. A second round of awards will be announced in early 2018, according to the governor’s office.

The following schools and technical centers were named to receive the awards:

  • Albemarle County — Monticello Governor’s Health Sciences Academy (diagnostic virtual modeling)
  • Bedford County — Bedford County Governor’s Health Sciences Academy (biotechnology and forensics) and Staunton River High School (technology education and engineering)
  • Botetourt County — Botetourt Technical Education Center (mechanical, electrical and computer engineering)
  • Cumberland County — Cumberland County High School (architectural design and construction)
  • Dickenson County — Riverview High School (cybersecurity)
  • Fredrick County — Dowell J. Howard Center (nursing, automotive technology, technology education and engineering)
  • Giles County — Giles County Technology Center (precision machine technology)
  • Hampton — Hampton High School (computer science, game design, cybersecurity and modeling/simulation)
  • Henrico County — Hermitage High School (precision machining)
  • Madison County — Madison County High School (simulated workplace environment)
  • Page County — Page County Technical Center (information technology and cybersecurity)
  • Rockbridge County — Rockbridge County High School (renewable energy)
  • Suffolk — Governor’s STEM Academy at the Pruden Center for Industry and Technology (information technology and cybersecurity, computer network software operations and mechatronics)
  • Warren County — Blue Ridge Technical Center (simulated design and advanced manufacturing)
  • Wythe County — Wythe County Technology Center (machinery and welding)
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