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

Wayne County Career & Technical School won a $15,000 Skills USA grant from Lowe's hardware store.
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 11:28 PM CDT

WAYNE COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Wayne County students benefit from a new influx of money.

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

Technology instructor Kristy Kittrell said the SkillsUSA competition helps students’ self-esteem.

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

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

“It’s given us the opportunity to have the proper tools instead of me just showing pictures of what the tools were,” said Kittrell. “We now actually have the tools to be able to hands-on use the tools.”

Construction students could also purchase materials to build a $4,000 house, which better prepares them for the workforce.

“They start off with measuring; no one can measure these days,” said construction instructor Drew Miller. “They learn how to use a measuring tape, a skill saw, Sawzall, jig saws, nail guns, drills. They actually learn how to hammer. They can build this entire house with a hammer and nails, which a lot of people can’t do that.”

The grant also allowed the welding program to purchase new tools, which is an overall safety improvement.

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

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

The Lowe’s Grant, $500,000 in all, benefited schools across the country.

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