The Biddeford Regional Center of Technology (BRCOT) recently received approval for their Maine Department of Education application for the full $7 million to expand Career and Technical Education (CTE) programming. Seventeen applications were received for the State’s RFA for CTE Infrastructure with four of them receiving approval. BRCOT’s application ranked at the highest score, tied with one other CTE program receiving funds.
“This has been a long time coming for secondary CTE programs,” said Paulette Bonneau, Director of the Biddeford Regional Center of Technology. “Of the $15.3 million allocated for CTE Infrastructure, we were granted nearly half of the funds at $7 million. I attribute this to our continued growth over the years and being well-prepared when this application process was announced. Our relationships with colleges, businesses, and industry partners are unparalleled which not only allows us to provide real-life, hands-on experiences for our students but also allows them to earn dual enrollment credits and apprenticeship hours for their future career.”
The BRCOT expansion, to occur in two phases by building a wing onto the high school behind the Center of Technology, will allow students increased choice in career pathways and a larger, more functional, safe space. The expansion will house the newly-created Culinary, Hospitality, and Athletic Training programs, along with adding more space to accommodate an increased enrollment of the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Plumbing and Heating programs. All the programs that will be housed in the new addition offer certifications such as ServSafe, OSHA 10, NCCER Plumbing Certifications, EMT Basic Licensure, CPR & First Aid, Athletic Training, dual enrollment opportunities, and post-graduate Apprenticeship opportunities.
“Maine’s CTEs had not seen a significant, statewide infusion of money for equipment and capital improvements since 1998,” said Speaker of the House Ryan Fecteau. “Education is not one size fits all and these investments are needed for our young people, their future prosperity, and that of our state. I firmly believe that career and technical education teaches Maine’s young people the hard skills they need to find good-paying jobs right here in Maine. CTE programs equip electricians, mechanics, carpenters, engineers, nurses, loggers, childcare professionals, chefs, and more with the skills and know-how to serve our communities. More than that, it outlines a clear path to those jobs, giving students confidence that there’s a vibrant future ahead of them in our state.”
The Biddeford Regional Center of Technology previously piloted one of the middle school programs allowing students to explore their interests and learn about the many career opportunities available. This expansion provides the capacity to realize that pilot program for middle school programming in the future and provide space for Biddeford Adult Education to host workforce training and skill enrichment classes.
Construction will begin in Spring 2023 and depending upon the program, curriculum will be developed and programs implemented over the next several years.
PHOTO CAPTION: Rendering of Expansion off of the Biddeford High School Tiger Gym Wing.
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