The Career and Technical Education program, authored and signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback in 2012, is designed to reward Kansas schools for preparing students to enter the work force.
Concordia High School cashed in on that program when Brownback presented a check for $14,000 to school officials during a visit on Wednesday.
The school received $1,000 for each of the 14 students who received industry recognized certification in two career/technical education programs, welding and certified nursing assistant
Concordia High School had seven students receive certification in each program.
Brownback toured the school’s welding shop during his visit, and met with former and current students Madison Brockman, Braden Johnson and Blane Payeur, along with welding instructor Andy Massing, school administrators and members of the Unified School District 333 board of education. He presented a copy of the check to superintendent of schools Beverly Mortimer.
“I am glad to pay it. We hope you can double, triple, quadruple it,” Brownback said.
Only 14 schools in Kansas had more students receive Career and Technical Education certification.
“The key for us is our community partners,” Mortimer said, “I am really proud of what everybody did and how they pulled together.”
Concordia High School provides the facility for the CNA program, and Cloud County Community College provides the instructor..
Mortimer told Brownback that the district is looking at adding certification programs in other areas.
Brownback said that the state had initially budgeted $8 million for the Career and Technical Education program, but that has now increased to $11 million, and he expects that to increase.
“I ran on five measurables as governor, saying, ‘hey look, I want to reduce the amount of poverty, child poverty, in the state. I want to increase jobs, private sector jobs, in Kansas. I want to increase net family income and increase the number of students who when they graduate, on graduation night, are either ready to go into a job or ready to go to college,’ and this fits three, and in some cases four of those measurables, and that is why I am so passionate about it,” Brownback said of Concordia’s certification programs, “This is lead in the target trying to help people help themselves, and the uptake has been huge. We have had a 50 percent increase in enrollment in these categories, so that is why I am very passionate about it. Concordia has done a fabulous job with it.”
Following his visit to Concordia High School, the governor visited the Concordia Tractor Inc. facility that was built in 2011 in the North Development and then toured the expanded Reinke Manufacturing plant in Belleville.