Senator Lesser Announces Economic Development Capital Funds for Belchertown High School

Senator Eric P. Lesser joined Superintendent Karol Coffin at Belchertown High School on Wednesday September 21, 2016 to announce a legislative authorization for capital funding to develop a new engineering program at Belchertown High School.

The funding announcement comes after Senator Lesser sponsored a $100,000 amendment to the state’s Economic Development Bill to authorize the establishment of the engineering program and to purchase robotics kits and other supplies. The funds will now need to be released by the Baker Administration.

“Belchertown Public Schools has a reputation for excellence, and a new engineering and robotics program will continue this regional leadership, offering even more opportunities to Belchertown’s high school students,” Senator Lesser said. “Jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are among the fastest growing fields in Western Massachusetts, and this program will give students the tools and exposure they need to succeed.”

Senator Lesser first learned about the Belchertown Public School’s need for funding during an appearance before the Belchertown School Committee last school year.

“Through the efforts of Senator Lesser and his staff, State funding has been granted for the development of an engineering robotics programming and coding program at Belchertown High School,” said Belchertown Superintendent of Schools Karol Coffin. “This lab, which would not be possible without extra funding, will be in conjunction with a comprehensive STEM lab complete with possibilities for 3-D graphic design, green engineering, computer science and other opportunities not available through regular school funding. We are very grateful to Senator Lesser as he continues to be an active advocate for our public schools.”

Since taking office, Senator Lesser has focused on further expanding job and skill training programs in high schools and local community colleges, spearheading funds for a manufacturing program at the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative, the expansion of skill training

grants through the Regional Employment Board, and capital funding authorizations for expanded carpentry and metal working programming at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.

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