A major expansion of the Miami Valley Career Technology Center will add 565,000 square feet of new and renovated space that will lead to more programs and increase student capacity at the high school.
Local business leaders and educators say a skills gap has made it difficult for employers to find adequately trained workers and they hope the $130 million expansion of the school will help.
“You are creating both opportunity and solving problems and positioning the community from a workforce and economic development point of view to be stronger, better and more prepared to tackle the future,” Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said.
Husted joined local educators, community leaders and elected officials on Friday at the groundbreaking for the school construction project on the Hoke Road campus that sprawls across Clayton and Englewood.
“I talk with business people all the time who say they would expand, they would hire new people if they could just find the talent. The Miami Valley Career Technology Center is the place where they can find the talent,” Husted said in an interview after the groundbreaking. “This is the future of how America’s education system is going to work, integrating employers and jobs skills in one location and launching students into the world ready to compete.”
The Dayton Daily News Path Forward initiative seeks solutions to the most pressing issues in our community, including making sure our region is prepared for the economy of the future. Our reporting has shown that resolving workforce training issues is critical to the local economy.
Workforce and economic development requires a joint effort by career centers, state and local job training programs, STEM education and efforts to encourage innovation, Husted said.
“And the states that get this right are going to be the ones that are prosperous. The communities that get this right are going to be the ones that are more prosperous. And when we help students get this right they will be more prosperous,” Husted said.
The Miami Valley CTC, which trains adults and high school students, had to reject 400 high school juniors for the incoming class last fall and again for the upcoming fall term because it didn’t have seats available from them in their chosen career fields.
The center serves 2,500 high school students from 27 area high schools in five counties and 5,000 adults annually.
Fifty-three percent of the project funding comes from a local taxpayer-approved bond issue in 2017, and 47 percent from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. It will be the largest single school building in the state construction commission’s history, according to Kelly J. Herzog, spokeswoman for the career tech center.
Programming in the expanded facility is still being developed but it will be a mix of new courses and expansion of current programs that are in high demand, Superintendent Nick Weldy said.
“The completed project will allow students to access modern career technical equipment similar to what they will see in the work environment,” Weldy said.
The expansion should be completed by December 2023 but Weldy said some areas might open as soon as December 2020. That includes agriculture and transportation-based programs, such as aviation maintenance, automotive technology, automotive collision and automotive services.
The architect is Garmann-Miller Architects of Minster and the construction management company is the Gilbane Building Co. of Columbus.
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