$438K grant means new things for HRVHS

State grant helps shops retool in a major way

MODERN computerized welding stations and other metal shop equipment will update antiquated tools and machinery, along with the up-grade of 30-year-old design tools in the HRVHS engineering department, thanks to the state CTE grant.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
MODERN computerized welding stations and other metal shop equipment will update antiquated tools and machinery, along with the up-grade of 30-year-old design tools in the HRVHS engineering department, thanks to the state CTE grant.

CTE is the new ABC.

Hood River Valley High School students interested in technical fields will benefit starting in fall 2014 by a new Career Technology Education — CTE — grant from the State of Oregon for $437,991.

HRVHS engineering teacher Jeff Blackman and technology teacher Don Schmidt co-wrote the grant request with Paul Lindberg, of Hood River, who works with nonprofits and government agencies. Blackman said the district listened to what students and employers wanted in crafting the grant request.

“We went out and we asked the community, namely the high-tech and industrial community partners, what they needed from our students and we’re trying to provide that,” Blackman said.

A total of 140 Oregon middle schools and high schools — serving more than 90,000 students — will receive Career and Technical Education (CTE) Revitalization Grants totaling $8.87 million,

Blackman said the HRVHS grant is specifically divided into two parts: the welding shop gets completely remade, with new state-of-the-art welding facility, and the engineering department gets new computers, 3-D printers and 3-D machines, and computer-aided milling machines, along with new Solidworks, 3-D software to design and build parts with.

Blackman said the school will start remodeling the shop areas this spring, involving the students as much as possible for redesign and have it ready for new equipment and operation by fall.

According to a press release last week from Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Rob Saxton, the CTE grants represent “a major expansion of career readiness investment.”

“A highly skilled workforce is central to Oregon’s economic competitiveness,” Avakian said.

The CTE Revitalization Grant funds will benefit students, schools and local employers around the state in fields such as health care, advanced manufacturing, construction, engineering, agriculture, renewable energy technology and more.

“Oregon’s competitiveness is fundamentally linked to the availability of a skilled workforce,” Avakian said “This is a huge win for students and our ability to support well-paying jobs around the state. Today’s announcement represents the most significant investment in career education and hands-on learning in a generation. More students will have access to 21st century shop classes and applied science, technology, engineering and mathematics instruction as a result.”

The applied learning of CTE programs helps develop both academic and technical skills and contributes to a rich and relevant learning experience. Graduation rates for students in CTE programs are near 90 percent, according to the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium.

“As we strive to meet our state’s 40-40-20 goals and better prepare our students for college and career, strong programs in Career and Technical Education are essential,” Saxton said.

“This year’s CTE Revitalization Grants will fund hands-on, applied learning opportunities in 140 schools all around our state and will help more of our students graduate with the skills they will need to succeed in higher education and the workforce,” he said.

The CTE Revitalization Advisory Committee — comprised of representatives from organized labor, trade organizations, education and Oregon’s business community — reviewed 62 applications totaling $21.6 million in requests. A diverse coalition of advocates will seek to refill the grant fund during the 2014 Oregon legislative session as part of the larger effort to ensure that every middle school and high school has access to high-quality and engaging CTE programs.

The grants build on an earlier investment by the 2011 Legislature to bring back vocational programs to 21 middle schools and high schools with an initial investment of $2 million (HB 3362). During the 2013 Oregon legislative session, a bipartisan coalition sponsored and passed legislation (SB 498) that quadrupled the initial investment to extend hands-on learning to more Oregon students.

The grant advisory committee prioritized geographic diversity and strong community partnerships with local employers in its selection of grants. In total, the 24 funded programs will leverage more than $2.6 million in matching funds from community and business partners. The business partnerships also ensure that career readiness education matches the greatest need in high wage, high growth fields.

One-third of all grant-funded projects are located in non-metropolitan Oregon counties.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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