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Gov. gives $200K for county education

By By Robbie Byrd, News Editor
Gov. Don Siegelman announced Monday that his office awarded a $200,000 grant to prepare students in Conecuh and Escambia Counties for job training initiatives.
The funds will be used for the school-to-career partnership in the two counties.
The program, in cooperation with the Escambia County Board of Education, business and industry representatives, local chambers of commerce and Reid State Technical College are coordinating the project.
Siegelman is excited about the opportunities this will offer to area students.
Stuart said that while some money will go towards an enhanced computer lab at Reid State's Conecuh County site, most of the grant will be distributed throughout several projects in Escambia County.
Plans in Escambia County include a cosmetology and nail technology program to be placed on site at Escambia County High School. The program also plans to place an enhanced Computer Information Services program at the Brewton Career Technical Center.
Stuart said that technical programs aren't the only curriculum that will be initiated through this grant.
The program, with the new money received, will allow each student in the county to take the WorkKeys assessment test, something Stuart said area industries and businesses have already implemented to test for career abilities.
Students participating in the career to work program will also receive college credit for classes they take in conjunction with the program.
Siegelman awarded the grant from funds made available to the state through a joint program of the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education. He has designated the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to administer the grant.