ANDERSON — With notification that it has received a $239,320 Career and Technical Education (CTE) grant from the state, Anderson Community Schools officials said all the elements are in place to significantly expand technical education opportunities for students.
The money will be used to establish an advanced manufacturing design laboratory to train students from Anderson and surrounding areas for the kind of skilled jobs that are currently in high demand. In addition to the state grant, a private match of $79,700 must also be raised locally.
"Our students will be provided the opportunity to learn and practice on equipment in a lab setting. This will not only prepare them to enter the world of manufacturing, but will also instill confidence and pride in their accomplishments," said Joanne LaBounty, lead instructor of the program.
All of the programs will be held at the new Anderson High School District 26 Career Campus, formerly known as the Ebbertt Education Center on 38th Street.
"ACSC will begin to prepare the future of a manufacturing workforce pipeline directly into the existing industry need for manufacturing workers," said Terry Thompson, superintendent.
The program is designed so that students who graduate will have the necessary certifications to move directly into jobs, or transition to college for more advanced training at Ivy Tech Community College, Purdue University College of Technology, or Anderson University, which is expanding its engineering and technical programs.
"Even more than receiving this grant money is the commitment we have made to our students to provide them with an education that is based on the belief that all students need to graduate with options as they pursue a future, hopefully within the Anderson community," Thompson said.
To identify employer, community and student needs, Anderson school officials collaborated with the city of Anderson's economic development team, the Madison County Education Coalition, NAACP, WorkOne; and local manufacturers, including Greenville Technology Inc., XADS, Carter Logistics, Keihin and others.