Archive for Friday, September 13, 2013

Public forum scheduled to discuss technical education center

September 13, 2013


The Lawrence school district is seeking public input about plans to build what is being called the "College and Career Center," where high school students will be able enroll in post-secondary job training courses.

A public forum is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday in the cafeteria at Lawrence High School, 1901 Louisiana St.

Plans for the new facility were included in the $92.5 million bond issue that district voters approved April 2. That bond issue included $5.7 million to build a new facility that is currently planned at the district's Community Connections Center, located near Holcom Park, west of 25th and Iowa.

Since then, however, area business leaders and the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce have urged the district to consider another site at 31st and Haskell, where they hope to develop an education and training center geared for adults.

That center, to be named after longtime local labor leader Dwayne Peaslee, is currently planned to be built in space occupied by Hiper Industries.

Both the school district and the Chamber have indicated they plan to contract with various community colleges and technical schools to offer courses. The school district's program would enable high school students to earn college credit while they receive job training for careers that may not necessarily require a four-year college degree.

Under a new law passed by the Kansas Legislature, high school students can receive tuition waivers to take post-secondary career training courses while they are still in school. The school districts also can earn bonuses of $1,000 for each student who graduates with an industry-recognized certificate in a field that the Kansas Department of Labor determines is in high demand in the state.

Chamber officials have said their program would be more specifically tailored to the needs of local industries by offering customized training for specific kinds of industrial or technical jobs.

School district officials have said they have not officially changed their plans for locating their new facility at the Holcom site, but they are willing to consider the Chamber's alternative location, depending in part on what they hear from the public.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

I say the Chamber of Commerce should stay out of the way. We elected the BOE to deal with these matters. The public has zero input on what the Chamber does behind closed doors.

It was Chamber of Commerce influence that brought the district the $20 million expenditure on the various PLAY athletic expansion projects. Reckless spending of tax dollars the district did not have.

I DO NOT want the Chamber of Commerce tapping into USD 497 tax dollars for their projects. That is NOT what the voters intended when approving the bond money.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

The Chamber is pushing for home building classes. Things people learn on the job and have been for at least 250 years or more.

cowboy 4 years, 8 months ago

Lawrence deserves better...a fully accredited votech and community college , not this subsidized local business training program. Why don't we have one ?

Kiana Griffin 4 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps because JCCC is so close and accessible.

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

No it isn't. You try working 8 am to 5 pm then driving 30 miles to class before 6 pm and another 30 miles after 10pm. Try that 4 days a week. That is how working people improve their lives by going to college.

Nevermind the $15 /day for gas.

JCCC is fine for Johnson County. It is not even in the neighborhood of fine for Douglas.

Kiana Griffin 4 years, 8 months ago

When you consider JCCC's dedicated bus route to Lawrence plus their online classes, at least it's an option. In addition to Ottawa's NCCC, Highland Community College is in Perry and Washburn has a tech school in Topeka. Maybe not ideal, but certainly options.

meatheadwisdom 4 years, 8 months ago

Because State Stutes dictate that any four year state university has "ownership rights" to post secondary educational programming in it's county. You cannot offer courses or classes that are offered by that university without it's permission. Voc Ed will work since KU is probably not going ot be offering any HVAC certification courses (for example) anytime soon.

Lawrence Morgan 4 years, 8 months ago

Cowboy, you are exactly right.

I am working on a proposal for this very kind of community college, based on a variety of existing community colleges throughout the country--as well as new ideas, but it's going to take some time to finish it. Others may be working on ideas, as well.

Scott Morgan 4 years, 8 months ago

Actually, this city does need at least a Tech School. Maybe two, one for more blue collar careers, one for more scientific/tech careers.

Who would have thunk, a certificate for specialized heating and cooling (Green Jobs) can and does guarantee a nice career and future.

Also, for some reason folks forget Neosho CCC has a campus in North Ottawa. With our new 4 lane superhighway replacing bloody 59, one can be quick like a bunny on campus in a much less stress free drive.

geekin_topekan 4 years, 8 months ago

"in a much less stress free drive."


Which would be more stressful?

Scott Morgan 4 years, 8 months ago

geekin, having too much stress today, you are correct. Drive to Ottawa nowadays is a pc. of cake.

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