The Ohio Department of Education has awarded Brookfield Local School District a second Innovative Workforce Incentive Program Implementation Grant, which gives the district a total of $1.2 million to hire teachers, buy equipment and supplies and create new programs to prepare students who are not going to college for industry jobs.
In July, the district was notified it had been awarded $747,560 to hire a science, technology, engineering and math teacher for grades kindergarten through eight, and create high school programs in which students can earn Certified Production Technician and Certified Logistics Technician certificates, or Ohio State Apprenticeship Council pre-apprenticeship program certification, said Supt. Toby Gibson.
The second grant of $455,000 “kind of piggybacks off that first round,” Gibson told the school board Dec. 14.
“This will add another component to it, another credentialing opportunity, in robotics programming for our high school students,” he said. “It’s the same computer program that is being used in advanced manufacturing nowadays. We’re hoping to set kids up, between the two programs, for what’s going on, especially here in the Voltage Valley, and everything that’s going on in Lordstown.”
It also allows the district to hire a high school STEM teacher, Gibson said.
Both programs will start in the fall, he said.
Some of the equipment could start arriving in January, although Gibson said officials have not decided where in the school it will be set up. There has been talk around the school about closing the middle school-high school library – Gibson said there is merit to closing all or part of the library as it is a “dead space” with little use – but no decisions have been made.