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Kaine Visits Under-Construction New Louisa High School

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LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Construction to rebuild Louisa County High School after it was destroyed by the 2011 earthquake is on time and on budget. The school welcomed Virginia Senator Tim Kaine Tuesday to see the progress.

The high school's construction will be supported partially by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The $54-million school will include an expanded career and technical education center to provide students with hands-on experience.

Among the construction cranes, Kaine sees federal funds at work. “I can learn a lot more by looking than by just sitting in my office reading the budget book,” he said.

The new Louisa County High School rises where the 2011 earthquake reduced the old one to rubble. Trailers have housed classes ever since. Tuesday, Kaine visited some students who were learning in a trailer.

Kaine cofounded the Senate's Career and Technical Education Caucus. The high school's career and technical education (CTE) classes have been spread out across campus since the quake. But the rebuilt school will expand Louisa's CTE program to prepare more students for the workforce.

Kaine says he will take lessons from Louisa back to share in Washington.

“Our hope is, certainly, that students leave here after CTE not only with college credits, which is nice, but also certifications so that if they wish to enter the workforce right out of high school they have that credential and get right into the workforce,” said Todd Ryan, CTE coordinator for Louisa County High School.

Students earned 508 credentials for careers last school year.

The new Louisa County High School is scheduled to open next August in time for the start of the 2015 school year.

Office of Senator Tim Kaine

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine continued his two-week tour of the Commonwealth with a visit to Louisa County High School in Mineral, which is under construction after being severely damaged in a 2011 earthquake. Kaine, who co-chairs the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, visited classes studying small animal care, turf maintenance, auto mechanics, and culinary arts, and learned about LCHS's dual enrollment programs in partnership with community colleges in the region.

“After the earthquake, the county went into a good problem-solving mode to deal with the immediate emergency, but then you have to build the new facilities. The federal government played a major role in that," said Kaine. "I'm on the Budget Committee so that's why I wanted to come. I believe I can be a better advocate for funding if I come out and see the FEMA dollars in action rather than if I'm just sitting in the office reading out of the budget book.”

“Louisa has a great track record of CTE programs and they do them right in the high school. They do it in the school because they have realized you now get some of the best jobs in the country with a high school degree and technical training, not necessarily the four-year college degree. High schools can give kids a great head start through strong CTE programs in the k-12 system, and Louisa's has a very good reputation.”

Following his visit to Louisa County High School, Kaine toured the new Thomas Jefferson Elementary School and visited North Anna Power Station.

Tomorrow, Kaine will travel to Newport News to visit the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School. He will discuss the importance of CTE programs as an alternative to traditional four-year colleges that can prepare students for highly-skilled, well-paying jobs. In the afternoon, Kaine will visit the Philippine Cultural Center in Virginia Beach.

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