The Automotive Collision Repair Technology Program at the Greene County Career and Technology Center in Waynesburg, Pa., will be able to address one of its most pressing needs, thanks to a $200,000 state grant.
State Rep. Pam Snyder, who visited the campus on May 9 to announce the grant, said the vo-tech school will use around half of the $200,000 grant to buy a new paint booth for its collision repair program. Until now, that’s been impossible because of the school’s limited financial resources.
The school’s existing paint booth is “extremely outdated,” collision repair instructor Todd Kieffer told BodyShop Business.
“We’ve been plagued with things breaking on it all year long,” Kieffer added. “It’s been a nightmare trying to get through this year.”
During Snyder’s visit, Kieffer said the grant is going to mean one thing for students: jobs.
“ … We’ve been working toward getting students ready for the industry, and it’s a time now where the industry is crying for help, and we’re going to be a part of that,” Kieffer said.
Snyder noted that the grant will benefit all 330 students in the school’s 12 instructional programs. In addition to a new paint booth, the grant money will help the school purchase a welder, beveling machine and helmets for the Welding and Fabrication Program, and a lathe for the Precision Lab and Machining Program, among other equipment upgrades.
“These jobs require specialized training – and you can’t receive cutting-edge training using outdated equipment,” Snyder said. “This became a top priority of mine, and I thank the Department of Education for recognizing the need to do something big and bold to elevate vo-tech training in Greene County.”