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Elk Grove High receives grant to expand manufacturing lab

Elk Grove Village and Elk Grove High School officials announced that the village has provided a second $100,000 grant to the District 214 Education Foundation to assist in the modernization and expansion of Elk Grove High School's fabrication lab, which students use to learn about the machinery used in today's manufacturing sector.

Last year's grant provided seed money to jump-start the renovation effort. The new grant will be used to build a new, advanced manufacturing lab and purchase high tech manufacturing equipment, such as lathes and mills, which students can use to learn how to work with metal, wood and other materials.

Several "mini mills" will also be purchased to give more students access to the equipment. The grant comes at a time when the popularity of Elk Grove High School's Career Pathways vocational education program is surging.

"For us, the grant could not come at a better time. Just as employers see a growing demand for trained, capable and experienced workers, we're seeing growing demand among our students for instruction that gives them hands-on, applicable experience operating high tech manufacturing equipment," said Kyle Burritt, Elk Grove High School associate principal.

"We're pleased that the village is investing in our students, and even more pleased that the grant will support the growth of these programs well into the future."

Village officials say the grant, which was approved by the village board last month, demonstrates the village's commitment to partnering with Elk Grove High School to strengthen the local workforce through technical and vocational education.

"With this grant, we're supporting the growing need in the workforce for employees with hands-on manufacturing experience," said Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson.

"With more than 400 manufacturers in Elk Grove Village that employ thousands of people, we're doing everything we can to provide them with a well-educated talent pool right here in the same community that they call home.

"This grant also helps students get a head start on careers in manufacturing, technology, robotics and other sectors that rely on a highly-skilled workforce to thrive."

Johnson, along with Trustee Chris Prochno, Trustee Nancy Czarnik and Trustee Pat Feichter, presented a $100,000 check to school officials and joined District 214 Superintendent Dave Schuler, Elk Grove High School Principal Paul Kelly, faculty and students for a tour of the lab.

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