Fix the Courts: Stand with Hank on Court Reform

Congressman Johnson Announces $348K Grant For Georgia Piedmont Technical College

NSF funding will create new career pathway in STEM fields for local high school students

CLARKSTON, GA — On May 29, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced it has awarded Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) in Clarkston with a $347,888 grant for their “Strengthening High School Initiatives in Future Technology” project.

The project will develop a one-year pathway for high school dual enrollment (DE) students on the Accelerated Career Pathways (ACP) high school graduation plan, to earn two college certificates in mechatronics. Mechatronics a multidisciplinary field that refers to the skill sets needed in the contemporary, advanced automated manufacturing industry. At the intersection of mechanics, electronics, and computing, mechatronics specialists create simpler, smarter systems.

“I am encouraged by the growing study of STEM by students — particularly those in K-12,” said Rep Hank Johnson. “Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s award of this grant not only advances the interest of students looking into mechatronics, but gives those who would not otherwise be able to afford these courses an opportunity to grow their knowledge and provide them with valuable experiences.”

In Georgia, the ACP offers a unique path to high school graduation for career-focused students, where they simultaneously earn a high school diploma and college credentials in a specific career pathway. Over the three years of the project, 60 students will be recruited to participate in the program. The project will align the required courses with experiential learning activities, in coordination with the local school systems and industry partners, strengthening the K-12 pipeline and improving the readiness of students to transition into the high-demand career field of mechatronics as technicians.

Because GPTC has a high population of economically disadvantaged and underrepresented students in STEM fields, the grant has the potential to broaden participation in the mechatronics workforce, generate new knowledge on how high school students are prepared for college and high-demand, good-paying career fields.

“This award allows us to introduce high school students to career options in emerging technologies that result in high wages,” said Georgia Piedmont Technical College President Tavarez Holston. “It is timely and relevant for regional workforce development efforts.”