In an effort to enhance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) curriculum in the City, Dean Technical High School looks to make upgrades to their science laboratories. The State School Building Authority has approved the reimbursement of approximately 80% of the project or $6.3 million. The next step is to seek local approval from the City Council to bond for the remaining funding of the project.
Preparing the future workforce for job opportunities in the growing STEM fields is key to moving the needle on unemployment and creating a thriving local and regional economy. One strategy of the Innovation-Based Economic Development Strategy for Holyoke and the Pioneer Valley (2011), “Outstanding Talent Delivery and Educational Assets”, outlines steps to maximize the Pioneer Valley’s competitiveness by leveraging current educational assets such as vocational schools like Dean Tech. The report explains that, “More and more, [business expansion and site location decision makers] look to adult, career and STEM coursework alignment with higher education…Regional initiatives to improve attainment and STEM indicators, and access to college with clear signs of improvement can thus become signals of a business-friendly market”.
The opportunity of the MGHPCC continues to help leverage other economic benefits for Holyoke. Earlier this year, Dean Tech partnered with the MGHPCC and the Holyoke Community College Foundation and was awarded a $200,000 grant to create a CISCO Academy at HCC and Dean. This academy will prepare students for quality job opportunities by becoming certified in CISCO equipment and technologies.