School District Receives State Grant for Career and Technical Education

The Oregon Department of Education and Bureau of Labor and Industries jointly announced this week that the Vernonia School District has been awarded a $250,000 grant for Career and Technical Education (CTE) Revitalization. Funds from this highly competitive grant will be used to enlarge and finalize the school’s current shop facilities, providing space for construction and metals classes, as well as expand the school’s current CTE course offerings.

“The district is both very pleased and highly honored to have been awarded this grant by the Department of Education,” said district superintendent Dr. Kenneth Cox. “It is our firm belief that our students have to graduate high school prepared for their next step in life, and this expansion of our program will better enable those wishing to embark on a wider array of career options.”

Funds from the Department of Education will also provide planning time for staff to expand existing CTE programs in both Construction and Digital Arts, and enable the district to add new programs in both Engineering and Forestry/Natural Resources. The grant will also enhance the current natural resource curriculum and provide at least six summer internships for Vernonia High School students, both on site and in association with local agency partnerships. 

Two summer internships will be available for Vernonia High School students through Stub Stewart State Park, two with the Upper Nehalem Watershed Council, and two will work with the Vernonia School District. These internships will be designed to increase local job opportunities and career training for students and provide much needed human resources for local partners.

“These programs and internships are key additions to the District’s overall effort to work with local business partners,” stated Aaron Miller,  principal of Vernonia Elementary School and manager of the school district’s natural resources and sustainability programs. “We are grateful for this new and much-needed investment to provide a well-rounded menu of academic programs that allow our students to develop the skills they will need to prepare for their future in college, trade school and the work force.”

This is one of 24 CTE grants recently announced which total $8.87 million. Additional information can be found at