The lab is the realization of a vision that started two years ago when we made a bold decision to bring many of our Career and Technology Education (CTE) programs back into our high schools and end our participation in a regional center. Friday afternoon, we held a ceremony to officially open the welding lab. This would not have been possible without the support and involvement of several important individuals and groups.
The members of the Isle of Wight County School Board had the courage and foresight to see the need for redesigning our CTE program. They took a risk and supported moving courses from the Pruden Center back into our schools. The Board of Supervisors listened to our proposal and publicly supported our vision for our schools. Members of my team worked diligently to move that vision into a plan and finally implementation. Liebherr became an integral partner in the welding lab project. Cort Reiser, Executive Vice President with Liebherr, advised us on how to set up the lab to ensure our students were receiving a quality experience. Liebherr donated ten two-station welding tables to the lab, along with seventeen welding machines. They provided signs and posters for the classroom, banners for the lab and even donated the ribbon for the ceremony--but not just any ribbon.
When you open a welding lab, you can't cut a big red ribbon. So we cut a big steel ribbon. Actually Cort and his son Nick, who's in the program, did the honors.
Someone once said "I love it when a plan comes together." That's exactly how I felt Friday as I watched the ceremony and walked through the facility. Our students are excited for the program. One of the student speakers shared that she knows this opportunity will give her the skills to be successful throughout the rest of her life. That's what this is about. That's our "Why?" The opening of the welding lab is the first of many celebrations we will have as we continue our journey and commitment to preparing all of our students to be college, career and life ready.
I've added a video below from the ceremony.