LORDSTOWN – Because the Trumbull County Educational Service Center is able to secure a $300,000 state grant, there are plans to convert part of the former Gordon D. James Career Center in Lordstown into a lumber shop.
James Rook, TCESC curriculum/instructor, said the plan is to offer the Wood Business/Industrial Arts pre-apprenticeship program in 2022-23, beginning with high school juniors.
Part of the old Vocational Training Center building that is currently Lordstown Elementary will be renovated and remodeled for the new program this spring and summer.
The TCESC Board of Directors had approved the continuation of the program and the conversion work.
Rook said students in the two-year program will attend half a day in their junior and senior years. The first year will be juniors and the year 2023-24 will be juniors and seniors. Rook said the goal is to enroll 50 students from different Trumbull County schools into the program.
He said the TCESC received $300,000 from the Ohio Department of Education, the Governor’s Office of Personnel Transformation.
“There is a demand for jobs in the industrial art fields. The program will provide students with the experience needed to find jobs in this field. The skills and experience they gain will give them an edge when looking for a job,” said Rook.
He said that after completing the two-year program, students will be able to pursue an apprenticeship in carpentry.
The pupils received their academic instruction at their home school and were then transported to Lordstown for a half day in the lumber shop.
TCESC Superintendent Mike Hanshaw said the grant funding will be enough to launch the program with more than 25 jobs.
Information on how students can enroll in the program has been sent to school districts.
Rook said the remodeling will be at the back of the school in an empty area and near a former SCOPE seniors’ center. He said the area has a large garage door entrance to the room.
He said the remodel will include the main classroom workspace, workbenches and areas, student lockers and restrooms. In addition, security extensions are created for the work areas of the classrooms.
Rook said Lowe’s Home Improvement provided a $25,000 grant to be used for equipment and materials for the program, such as saws.