Wayne County Career and Technical Center receives $15,000 Lowe grant

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WAYNE COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) – Wayne County students are enjoying a new influx of money.

Lowes is donating $15,000 to the Wayne County Career and Technical Center. The center is constantly preparing students for the job market, and the SkillsUSA grant helps further its overall mission.

Technology teacher Kristy Kittrell said the SkillsUSA competition helps students build confidence.

“They build confidence, leadership skills,” Kittrell said. “It’s like they blossomed when they came back from competition because when they started competition it was like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this’, and then after they done, they come back with the attitude, ‘I did it; I didn’t think I could do it, but I did.

Although SkillsUSA does a lot with competition, the grant to Wayne County allowed the center to purchase tools for the classroom curriculum.

“It gave us the opportunity to have the right tools instead of just showing pictures of what the tools were,” Kittrell said. “We now have the tools to be able to use the tools in a practical way.”

Construction students could also buy materials to build a $4,000 house, which would better prepare them for the job market.

“They start by measuring; nobody can measure these days,” said construction instructor Drew Miller. “They learn to use a tape measure, handsaw, Sawzall, jigsaws, nail guns, drills. In fact, they are learning to hammer. They can build this whole house with a hammer and nails, which a lot of people can’t do.

The grant also enabled the welding program to purchase new tools, representing an overall improvement in safety.

“[It] teaches them how to use a tool correctly, how to use a tool safely, and they have safe tools to actually use, and that prepares them for entering the workforce to be able to properly do their job,” said said welding instructor Austin Malone.

Wayne County is one of the strongest SkillsUSA chapters in the state – being both state and national winners.

The Lowe’s grant, totaling $500,000, benefited schools across the country.

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