The Michigan Department of Education announced this week that Kent ISD and 13 other ISDs and school districts across the state were awarded Career and Technical Education (CTE) Innovation and Equipment Grants.
The grants are intended to expand programs and purchase equipment in manufacturing-related areas. Kent ISD’s award of $300,000 will be used to purchase welding equipment including high-tech virtual reality training systems, expand current welding units in several Kent Career Tech Center programs, and provide welding training for adults, middle schoolers and in summer camps.
Campus Principal John Kraus said “coupled with robotics, welding technology is present in nearly every manufacturing environment. In addition to the virtual welders, we hope to acquire a high-tech robotic welder that will prepare students for a vast number of unfilled jobs right here in West Michigan.
“And through our established partnership with GRCC,” Kraus added, “we will see new opportunities for Tech Center students to earn college credit in welding technologies before finishing high school.”