Lane County Schools CTE Programs Receive $1 Million in State Funding
Six school districts and local education departments in Lane County will receive new state funding to expand their vocational technical education programs.
The CTE Revitalization Grants will go to schools in the Bethel, Creswell, Junction City, Marcola, and South Lane school districts, as well as the Lane Education Services District, the director of the Oregon Department of Education, Colt Gill, and Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle announced last week. A total of 148 Oregon middle and high schools received grants, totaling $7.3 million in public funds.
Lane County schools will receive seven grants totaling $1.08 million.
Creswell High School was the recipient of one of the grants, at $125,000. Principal Jenny Collins wrote the grant application during the winter break this school year and had to wait until February to find out if she got it. She broke the news to some of the welding students on Thursday morning, much to their delight.
“Having new, updated and more welding equipment will excite the kids now and help them find jobs in the future – that’s what my dad always says,” said Camrin Marple, Senior CHS. “It has helped many students get a good head start and then get certified at (Lane Community College). When my brother is in 12th grade, we could get more kids to get dual credit and go to Lane or trade school. So exciting! It’s a dying art form.”
The growth of ETC
The CTE has for several years been a growing interest for Heads of State to prioritize and expand back into schools. CTE classes, also known in the past as vocational education classes, were popular before the turn of the century, but began to decline from 1992 until at least 2013 with fewer students attending CTE. This has raised some concerns about labor shortages, according to a study by the US Department of Education.
Around this time, interest in the ETC increased again. Since 2015, schools in Oregon have grown from 716 CTE programs to 1,086 programs approved this school year, with a growing push for programs run by outside groups as well.
For subscribers:The Resurgence of CTE: The Pipeline to Provide Students with Career Options Outside of High School Expands
More schools are expanding their programs because Oregon students who enroll in CTE courses have consistently higher graduation rates than students who don’t, according to ODE data. They also leave high school on a direct path to higher earning potential, to jobs in fields like IT or construction, with salaries of more than $100,000 a year.
In 2011, the Oregon Legislature established a competitive grant program titled the CTE Revitalization Grant to support these efforts and strengthen the pipeline from CTE classes to the workforce. In July 2015, Governor Kate Brown signed House Bills 3072 and 5016 into law, authorizing $9 million for the Oregon Department of Education to continue the CTE Revitalization Grant program. In the 2021 legislative session, $7.3 million was allocated for the program.
There were 64 claims totaling $8.7 million in claims from across the state. Each application required that the district or school indicate what project the money would be used for, and with that, the advisory committee selected those who would receive the state funds. The committee is made up of people from organized labor, professional organizations, education, and Oregon’s business, labor, industry and business communities, and prioritized nominations based on “geographic diversity, partnerships community and programs that lead to well-paying, in-demand jobs”. , especially for historically and currently marginalized students,” the statement said.
Funding to improve the welding program
At Creswell High, the grant makes the difference between having limited welding courses available to students and being able to significantly expand their curriculum, sending students with basic skills in all three basic types of welding, so that they can easily switch to a trade. program or local employer.
“Our goal is really to just improve our welding program and turn it into a manufacturing technology pathway, and the bulk of the (grant) will really go towards the equipment that we need,” Collins said. “We have teamed up with a local businessman who will come and do our ductwork and help us get space to install more cabins, which will then allow us to buy more welding machines and diversify the types of welding machines we use.”
The district has also pledged to use funds from the High School Success Fund to accomplish this. It also partners with other local schools, using Lane Community College for its welding program and Harrisburg High School.
Related:New high school CTE hands-on program in Eugene hopes to boost high-paying careers
“They’re doing amazing things and have material that we may not be able to get this year,” Collins said. “So they’re going to partner with us to do projects that our students can bring back and create and build here.”
Here’s how much each local school or district receives for its projects, according to the state announcement and district requests:
- Bethel School District: $125,000 for the Kalapuya YouthBuild Construction CTE project, which trains students for career paths (framing, construction, plumbing, electrical, sheet metal) and higher degrees (architecture, engineering, land use planning, nonprofit management) .
- Creswell School District: $125,000 for the High School Construction and Fabrication Technology Expansion to revitalize the welding/fabrication pathway for students and develop fabrication technology as a new curriculum.
- Junction City High School: $125,000 for Digital Arts – Media and Production, providing funds to purchase industry-standard equipment, including computers, cameras and peripherals, to support students’ hands-on learning opportunities and the collaboration with community and industry partners. The school has expanded program offerings in yearbook, graphic design, 3D design and animation, digital photography, digital news media, and introductory journalism.
- Lane Educational Services District: $465,426 for the Lane Health Sciences Center to expand current programs to create relevant and rigorous high-quality CTE health science programs that particularly support marginalized students, and to expand careers programs in building (11) full CTEs and (3) Lane County Start-Ups.
- Marcola School District: $125,000 for Mohawk Ag Institute and CTE Program Enhancement to staff the Mohawk Ag Institute farm to increase food production, instruction/planning related activities for students in pre-kindergarten through Grade 12, move the Welding Shop to a new space, improve the farm’s food processing capacity for cafeteria/pantry, expand health science partnerships, and create building projects authentic real-world images for adding animals to the farm.
- South Lane School District: $124,240 for South Lane Advanced Manufacturing for Cottage Grove Youth, adding equipment to have more advanced manufacturing technology, including 2D and 3D design equipment parts, robotics and a center exterior welding.
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