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TOP DOLLAR: WHS’s tech program seeks $300K

June 3, 2013

SOUTH WHITLEY — “You’re not at your grandpa’s factory, but you’re working on your grandpa’s equipment,” said David Parker, Whitko High School principal, in regards to the school’s Industrial Technology program.

With emphasis on exposing high school students to career classes, tech and welding programs are in high demand at WHS, but equipment is falling farther and farther behind the curve.

“We are about offering opportunities for our students, and this is just one of the ways we do that,” said Parker. “These teachers are true pros and do a first class job instructing our students in these areas.”

Jay Ocken, a vocational teacher for the program, gave school board members a proposal on the growing need for industrial technology at the May meeting.

In his remarks, Ocken told school leaders that the need for newer and more current equipment was necessary to see the program continue successfully.

“All total we are looking at $303,830 for 26 stations,” Ocken said. “Our equipment is outdated. The newest machine we have is from 1975 and needs repaired.”

Recently, numerous students were recognized for their technological and welding education with certifications and college credits.

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