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FORT PAYNE, Ala. – Governor Kay Ivey is giving $1 million to better prepare Fort Payne High School students and adults for the future.

The grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) will also help meet the needs of Alabama’s workforce.

The Fort Payne Board of Education will use the money to build a new vocational center focusing on construction, primarily electricians and plumbers, electric vehicles and aviation (drone) technologies.

It will be built near the current high school.

Superintendent Jim Cunningham said they are always looking to expand the pathways to career tech, so this vocational center joins the other courses taught in the district including health science, sports medicine, tv production, robotics, engineering, education, robotics, horticulture, culinary, public safety, and cybersecurity.

“We have strived now for years to make sure school is not just core subjects but also preparing students for careers. We want them to look forward to going to school. They’re going to classes that are really are of interest to them and benefit them in the future,” explained Cunningham.

Cunningham expects classes to begin at the new vocational site sometime in 2022.

He thanked Gov. Ivey, ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell, State Representative Nathaniel Ledbetter, State Senator Steve Livingston, Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments’ Sara James and Fort Payne Board of Education employee Christi Jackson for writing the grant.