$1.5 Million ARC Grant Bringing New Programs to Buckeye Hills Career Center


RIO GRANDE, Ohio (WSAZ) – The Buckeye Hills Career Center has received $1.5 million from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to create economic opportunity through high school and adult education programs .

“It’s about in-demand jobs, in-demand credentials, in-demand training, and it all comes together so that kids in high school and on the adult side can get high-paying jobs and high-paying careers,” , said Jamie Nash, superintendent of the Buckeye Hills Career Center.

This award is part of a recently announced $21 million package to support 21 projects serving 211 coal-impacted counties under the POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity, Workforce and Economic Revitalization) initiative. ) of the CRA. POWER targets federal resources to communities impacted by job losses in coal mining, coal-fired power plant operations and coal-related supply chain industries.

“This country was built on blue collar jobs, the backbone of this country is the commerce industry,” Nash said. “In-demand jobs, whether you’re in Ohio or around Ohio, don’t require four-year degrees.”

With this money, BHCC is adding four programs. They will begin the construction and implementation of a new CDL training complex and program, as well as the creation and implementation of a broadband telecommunications program (ground and air program), operators of heavy equipment and engineering program, and heavy diesel mechanics program.

“We have more career opportunities for students than we’ve ever seen, and we have students who will earn more than anyone working here at Buckeye Hills,” said Justy Burleson, placement coordinator at BHCC.

Harleigh Coy is a senior at Oak Hill Secondary School. She grew up in a garage that fixed cars and knew she wanted to make it her job. It’s taking advantage of the heavy machinery program they’ve already started.

“I chose welding. I fell in love with it and then the heavy machinery started, and I was like I was going to give it a shot and so far I’m really enjoying it,” she said.

She is 17 and already working, with a well-paying job after graduation.

“It’s a great relief. It already helps me for the future when I’m home and everything,” Coy said.

Also as part of the grant, Nash says they will begin setting up transportation services to and from the center.

“We have in the grant where we will supply from Meigs County and Vinton County. At least twice a day, we will provide public transportation from these areas to our main campus,” Nash said.

He says they will also add access to childcare for adult education students.

“Sometimes childcare and transportation are the two barriers, so we’re knocking down those barriers so students have access so they can come here, and when they get here they’ll have access to someone to watch their little ones. kids while training them,” Nash said.

In addition to the $1.5 million grant, the school board gave the center $670,000 to help add these new programs.

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