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JCHS CTE program awarded $124.7K grant

By Meg Dickens
Freelance Writer

Each year, the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Director Herbie Adams applies for help for the JCHS CTE program. Officials announced that this effort has been rewarded and will lead to increased opportunities for local TCAT (Tennessee College of Applied Technology) and high school students in Johnson County. The program will receive $124,703 through the SPARC (Supporting Post-secondary Access in Rural Communities) 3.0 grant.
This grant is specifically for distressed and at-risk communities, such as Johnson County. As most people are aware, Johnson County falls under the at-risk category. The area is considered below the poverty line and has struggled with labor, competitive wages, and accusations of price-gouging often in the last few years. Creating more local opportunities for growth may be a solution for reducing some of these challenges.
According to Adams, the funds can be used towards “industry
credentials, supplies, and anything like that” for the next 25 months. Adams already has plans for the SPARC funding and the Johnson County School Board’s approval to move forward. Following in the footsteps of Elizabethton and Unicoi, Johnson County will be the third First District CTE program to finish its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) lab. Estimated costs fall at $70,534 through provider Real Tech.
“I’ll tell you the portions we’ll be purchasing with our funding,” Adams broke down the information for the School Board. “The automation and robotics, the CAD (Computer-Aided Design) program, CNC (Computer Numerical Control) lathe, CNC mill, engineering and stress analysis, bionics kit, and bionics flower.”
According to Adams, the partnering TCAT has agreed to allocate around $80,000 to help with further lab development. The two sources reportedly will be enough to give Johnson County a complete Festo STEM lab. Both CTE improvements come with a variety of possible accreditations and dual enrollment opportunities for students.
The Johnson County School Board meets on the second Thursday of each month at Central Office.
For more information about Johnson County Schools, visit jocoed.net. Watch board meetings live or in the archives on the Johnson County Schools TN Video Youtube channel.

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