Floyd County School of Innovation hosts open house
The open house was shared with Floyd County Schools partner Mountain Enterprise
FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - As schools begin to return for the fall, a new school, Floyd County School of Innovation held an open house Thursday with one of their partners, Mountain Enterprises.
Although the pandemic has put some setbacks on the start of school, they did not let that stop them from achieving their goal.
“The fact that we were able to complete it during a pandemic it’s just amazing, it gives us chill bumps. It’s exciting because the kids can even begin the process online,” said Sherry Robinson, Chairman of the Floyd County Board Of Education.
“This is something that we had discussed as a board wanting to improve or expand our CTE programs to make sure that our students in all of the high schools had access to this type of pathway. So, as soon as they could graduate high school they could move right into the workforce,” said Robinson.
With more than one hundred applications submitted for the heavy equipment pathway, only 31 were chosen to begin in the fall. “We have 20 something kids on our waiting list trying wanting to get in, so we are trying to get those kids in if we can,” said Christina Crase, Principal of Floyd County School of Innovation. Over 100 students were accepted into the school overall.
While that number may seem small, it alone will make an impact in the heavy equipment industry.
“In the next five years or so we are at risk of losing about 20 percent of our workforce,” said Andy Rodabaugh, President of the Mountain Companies. “We recognized early on that we have a shortage of quality employees coming into this business.”
That is where the partnership with Floyd County Schools turns vital.
“It’s the first in the state for them and no one else in eastern Kentucky is doing it,” said Robinson.
Through each level of learning, students will earn an additional credential. Once leaving the program they are entered into a national database, to help get them hired with an employer.
“So we are thinking, if we can prepare our students to be more employable then certainly it’s going to help the economy right here in Eastern Kentucky, and the economy in Floyd County; and that’s our goal with this,” said Danny Adkins, Floyd County Schools Superintendent.
Through Mountain Enterprise, students will have access to professionals teaching them their craft, “It gives them some classroom instruction on heavy equipment operation, it gives them simulator training on equipment operation and we can bring them out here for a final exam and actually get them hands-on manipulating material, handling material,” said Rodabaugh.
Operating equipment worth up to $500,000, under profession, and safe supervision.
“To say I was excited before I got here, now I’m on cloud 9, this is amazing, the things we can do with our students at this school and here. The partnership with Mountain Enterprise is beyond anything I could imagine, said Principal Crase.
Taking in consideration the pandemic she said they are thinking of the virus and doing everything they can for their students, ”We are going above and beyond when it comes to protocol we are taking all the cautions with the masks and 6 feet apart, hand sanitizer, checking temperatures,” she said.
As this program, is the first of its kind in the state, Leslie Fannin, District Counselor for Floyd County Schools, said this is more than just ’any’ opportunities.
“If just one person or one student goes to work when they graduate from high school or even their paid apprentice during high school and that is going to break generational poverty.”
Classes begin on September 8.
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