WCSD gets grant for welding ed.

The Warren County School District has received $49,589 in state grant funding to enhance equipment in the welding and power equipment technology programs at the Warren County Career Center.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education announced on Friday morning that 42 schools will share $1.7 million in Career and Technical Education Equipment Grant program funding.

“The staff and students at the Warren County Career Center are extremely excited about receiving this grant,” said WCCC Principal Dr. Darrell Jaskolka. “The experience and training this technology will provide our students will give them a competitive edge as they enter the work force or pursue further education.”

In announcing the award, Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq said that “this funding will allow these schools to acquire new, state-of-the-art equipment for students to train for the jobs of tomorrow. Governor Corbett believes that providing students with access to high-quality resources will ensure their competitiveness with their peers in the local, national and global workforce.”

A press release from PDE states that “as a competitive grant, the Career and Technical Education Equipment Grant program provides funding for schools to purchase equipment that meets industry standards.”

PDE received 51 applications and awarded funding to 42 schools. “Each proposal was reviewed and scored based on the program’s plan to integrate new equipment into its curriculum as well as a professional development plan to ensure instructors know how to use the equipment.”

The WCSD school board approved the grant application during the October 14 meeting. An executive summary prepared for the meeting indicated that administration has worked with the staff at the WCCC to develop recommendations regarding the use of potential grant funding. The big ticket item on the list, a System 5 Robotic Welder, was estimated to cost $7,500 with an additional $5,800 in installation costs.

While the district only received slightly under $50,000, the grant program requires a local match from the WCSD and the summary states that the match, slightly over $52,000, will “come from Warren County School District monies.”

“We are looking forward to working with (Superintendent) Dr. (William) Clark and the Board of Education to find the necessary matching funds,” said Jaskolka. “A very special thanks needs to go to Mr. Matt Jones, WCSD Grant Writer, who has instrumental in putting this grant proposal together.”

The other items proposed in the summary include a transformer upgrade in the welding shop, two days of professional development regarding use of the robotic welder, three air lifts, a tire changer and a tire balancer.

“Pennsylvania’s employers require their employees to have the skills to meet the demands of the business community,” Dumaresq said. “This investment will ensure that students have a hands-on learning experience that will benefit them in their chosen career.”