Funds will enlarge district shop facilities and provide space for metals class

Vernonia schools have won big in the first month of a new year.

The Oregon Department of Education and Bureau of Labor and Industries jointly announced Jan. 15 that the Vernonia School District has been awarded a $250,000 grant for Career and Technical Education (CTE) Revitalization. Funds from this competitive grant will be used to enlarge and finalize the school’s current shop facilities, providing space for construction and metals classes, as well as expand current CTE course offerings. 

“The district is both very pleased and highly honored to have been awarded this grant by the Department of Education,” said Superintendent Kenneth Cox. “It is our firm belief that our students have to graduate high school prepared for their next step in life, and this expansion of our program will better enable those wishing to embark on a wider array of career options.” 

Funds from the DOE will also provide planning time for staff to expand existing CTE programs in construction and digital arts and allow the district to add new programs in engineering and forestry/natural resources. The grant will enhance current natural resource curriculum and provide at least six summer internships for Vernonia High School students, both on-site and in association with local agency partnerships. 

Two summer internships will be available for Vernonia High School students through Stub Stewart State Park, two with the Upper Nehalem Watershed Council and two with the school district. The internships will be designed to increase local job opportunities and career training for students and provide much needed human resources for local partners. 

“These programs and internships are key additions to the district’s overall effort to work with local business partners,” stated Aaron Miller, principal of Vernonia Elementary School and manager of the school district’s natural resources and sustainability programs. Vernonia’s award is one of 24 CTE grants totaling $8.87 million.

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