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Lakewood Local Schools Awarded $500,000+ Career Technical Education Equipment Grant by State of Ohio

Lakewood Local Schools Awarded $500,000+ Career Technical Education Equipment Grant by State of Ohio
Shannon Caudill

Lakewood Local Schools is a recipient of the State of Ohio Department of Education and Workforce’s Career Technical Education (CTE) Equipment Grant Program, which helps schools purchase up-to-date equipment so they can better prepare students to be career-ready upon graduation. Lakewood Schools received $530,916.01 and is one of 56 districts/schools receiving grants totaling more than $67.7 million.  

Lakewood Local Schools (LLS) is a recipient of the State of Ohio Department of Education and Workforce’s Career Technical Education (CTE) Equipment Grant Program, which helps schools purchase up-to-date equipment so they can better prepare students to be career-ready upon graduation. LLS received $530,916.01 and is one of 56 districts/schools receiving grants totaling more than $67.7 million, expanding career technical education access to an additional 10,345 Ohio students.

According to the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce website, the purpose of the Ohio Career Technical Education Equipment Grant Program is “to award competitive grants to schools to establish or expand CTE programs, with priority for programs that support careers on Ohio’s Top Jobs List and establish or expand credentialing programs from the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation Innovative Workforce Incentive Program list.”

In a separate joint press release issued by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce, Governor Mike DeWine said, “Investing in our schools is an investment into our students’ futures. Allowing more schools to purchase equipment so they can train more students will set them and our state up for success.”

Lakewood High School currently offers the following courses in its CTE programming: Engineering Design, Robotics, and Manufacturing Operations. Through the grant, the district will train teachers and purchase technical equipment for the high school Innovation Center and middle school Industrial Technology room, furniture, and computers.

“This grant is very exciting,” said Superintendent Dr. Mark Gleichauf. “We are hyper-focused on workforce readiness at Lakewood since many of our students enter the workforce after graduation. We already offer career pathways in diverse fields. Through our courses and community partnerships, students have opportunities to earn credentials that they can use immediately after graduation. However, with the industry and development that is on the horizon for our area, it’s even more important that we provide vibrant teaching and learning experiences and give students the training, knowledge, and skills they will need to succeed.”

LLS will be expanding its existing Engineering and Science Technologies program with an increased focus on Advanced Manufacturing by adjusting its curriculum to offer a 12-point credential and a fourth course. As part of the program expansion, LLS would also implement College and Career Ready Labs at its middle school to expose students to the courses they can take in high school and generate more interest in the CTE Engineering and Technologies program, thus creating an aligned 7th-12th grade pathway.

“We have big plans for these funds,” said Patti Pickering, LLS Director of Teaching & Learning. “To better prepare our students for the workforce needs in our region, we will integrate a Smart Manufacturing curriculum and training into our pathway to teach basic manufacturing skills and build industrial competencies in areas such as PLC troubleshooting, mechatronics, data analytics, robot operations, and programming. With the addition of that multimedia curriculum, along with virtual and hands-on industrial training, we would be able to add a fourth course to our pathway, Computer Integrated Manufacturing. This program expansion would allow us to offer the MSSC Certified Production Technician (CPT) Plus Skill Boss 12-point industry-recognized credential. This would be the fourth industry-recognized credential to be offered at Lakewood.”

Lakewood Middle School currently offers a Pre-Engineering Technologies course and the district will use part of these funds to incorporate Paxton Patterson College and Career Ready Labs into this program: CAD, Digital Manufacturing, Electricity and Electronics, Flight and Drone Technology, Home Maintenance Fundamentals, Intro to Engineering Design, Materials Processing and Design, Pneumatics, Research and Development, Robotics, Structural Engineering, Home Maintenance Fundamentals, and Laser Technology.

“We selected these learning modules because they directly align to the workforce needs in our area, and they support the coursework that would be implemented at the high school,” said Dee Martindale, Lakewood Local Schools’ District STEM Coordinator. “These labs will also provide opportunities for students to learn about the various careers associated with these fields. The Paxton Patterson College and Career Ready Labs are aligned to business and industry standards and utilize authentic industry tools and supplies to provide students with authentic experiences to apply what they are learning. Over their middle school career, students would receive training in each career-ready module to help them discover their passions, learn more about the workforce, and cultivate real-world skills. These career-focused labs will also help students learn more about the coursework they can pursue at the high school level and help recruit students for the CTE program.”

She added, “It's a remarkable opportunity for our students and I'm excited to get started on the work.”

(Photos from the award ceremony. Lakewood Local Schools' Director of Teaching and Learning Patti Pickering, Lakewood Local Schools' District STEM Coordinatior, Dee Martindale, Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted, and representatives from other districts that received awards.)

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