Phase 2 of Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO TEC) has added two new staff members and an inaugural board of directors working to expand this collaborative talent development model. The GO Virginia Region 3 pilot started in two K-12 divisions with higher education partners. It will grow over the next 18 months to reach 12 school divisions, associated higher education partners and industry across Regions 1, 3 and 4—from Wythe County to Greensville County. A GO TEC brand and website will expand communication efforts.
This top-funded GO Virginia project leverages the relationships of K-12, higher education and industry to build a talent pipeline for critical career paths like advanced manufacturing; welding; IT networking, coding, programming and cyber security; advanced materials; and automation, robotics and mechatronics. The huband-spoke training model introduces high-demand fields in middle school Career Connections labs, or “spokes,” which offer foundational skills training. Students may take advantage of expanded career and technical courses and dual-enrollment opportunities in high school and potentially “hub” level training (or mastery level training) in higher education.
Dr. Tammy Hurt will lead the project as the new GO TEC Program Manager. Hurt formerly served as the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Coordinator for Prince Edward County Public Schools. Jacob Taylor, the new GO TEC Training Coordinator, will train Career Connections lab instructors and other educators. Taylor previously taught at the Pittsylvania County Schools STEM Academy.
The GO TEC Board met for the first time on July 11. The 21 members include seven representatives from each of the following: K-12, higher education and the private sector. Members will guide efforts of GO TEC staff and advocate at the local, regional, state and national level.
The Phase 2 $4.9 million funding from GO Virginia will be matched 1-to-1 by support from GO TEC partners. Higher education partners include: Danville Community College, IALR (Phase 2 agency lead), New College Institute, Patrick Henry Community College, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, Southside Virginia Community College and Wytheville Community College. Other partners include K-12 and industry across these areas.