Botetourt Technical Education Center (BTEC) is one of 16 schools that will receive $37,500 grants to upgrade or purchase career and technical education equipment (CTE) through the state’s Career and Technical Education Competitive Innovative Program Equipment Grant program.
The award was part of $600,000 in grants announced last week by the Governor’s office. Each of the 16 schools received $37,500. This competitive grant program was proposed by Governor McAuliffe in 2016 and approved by the General Assembly.
BTEC will use the grant for five MecLab Training Systems, according to the school’s grant application. Each costs $8,864. The systems contain three simplified models of typical production processes found in automated factories.
The grant will supplement the $300,000 in the Virginia budget that’s set aside for BTEC and Virginia Western Community College to start offering the Siemens Mechatronics System Certification Level I training.
The mechatronics training is a comprehensive industry skills certification program that is designed to provide students with the required skill set for the modern industry such as the Eldor Corporation plant that is slated to be built at Botetourt Center at Greenfield. The VWCC/BTEC program is being set up to graduate at least 100 students in mechatronics over the next five years.
“We’re excited about the expanding advanced training programs that provide our students with pathways to viable careers in Botetourt County,” said Botetourt’s Instructional Coordinator for CTE & ABE Lisa Barnett.
“As we continue to build the new Virginia economy, it is vital that we align our CTE programs with the needs of business and industry,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said “These 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 Governor’s grant program will play a critical role in the academic and professional success of our students,” Secretary of Education Dietra Trent said. “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.”
The grant program gives priority to challenged schools, Governor’s STEM Academies and Governor’s Health Science Academies. A second round of awards will be announced in early 2018.