Shiawassee Community Foundation, Great Lakes Family of Companies, and Gabrielle Feighner Baker of Feighner Boat Lifts and Docks, is excited to announce its commitment to fostering educational opportunities in the region. Through a strategic partnership with Shiawassee Regional Education Service District (RESD), the organizations are proud to launch a new welding class for local students in the upcoming school year. Gabrielle, working closely with Shiawassee RESD, has been instrumental in advocating for the implementation of a new welding class aimed at equipping high school students with valuable hands-on Career Technical Education (CTE) experience. The welding class is just the beginning of an ambitious plan to expand the CTE offerings within the region.
Shiawassee RESD is taking a significant step forward in enhancing equal access to CTE education by establishing a new central school facility, The Shiawassee RESD College and Career Readiness Center (CCRC) in Vernon. This new facility will serve as a hub for all area high school students, enabling them to benefit from various hands-on CTE classes, including Teaching Cadet, Electrical, Public Safety, and Health Science. The Welding program will continue at Baker College.
To ensure this initiative’s successful launch and operation, two funds have been opened at The Shiawassee Community Foundation, Great Lakes Family Trades Fund and Shiawassee Regional Education Service District (SRESD) CTE Program Fund. Feighner Boat Lifts and Docks are actively fundraising to raise an initial goal of $50,000 with a matching commitment of $10,000 by Feighner Boat Lifts and Docks to support CTE programming.
In May 2023 with an additional $10,000 donation, Bryan Marks established the Great Lakes Family Trades Fund as a Donor Designated Fund dedicated to supporting the Shiawassee RESD-CTE Program. This fund aims to bolster construction, building, and any other industrial trades programs offered by the Shiawassee Regional Education Service District (SRESD). It will provide essential resources such as classroom upgrades, tools, software, books, and other items that would assist students. Bryan shared “Our hope is that with these initial donations, others will see the value in the Countywide CTE program and also want to donate to keep these funds sustainable for future generations of youth in our community”.
In the same month, Gabrielle Feighner Baker and Bryan Marks jointly opened the Shiawassee Regional Education Service District (SRESD) CTE Program Fund as a Pass-Through Fund. This fund is specifically designated to channel contributions directly to the SRESD CTE program, reinforcing its endeavors to provide students with valuable education and skill-building opportunities. Gabrielle expressed “There is an immense need in our community to provide our youth with hands-on training for their future careers. We are asking the community to rally around this new school, to help give our students a competitive edge in the workforce, and to elevate the overall talent pipeline in Shiawassee County. Our kids, and our local businesses depend on this program being successful.”
Donations can be made through check or via PayPal at the following link: https://www.shiacf.org/donate/ Donors are encouraged to select the “CTE Fund” in the drop-down menu to contribute directly to the CTE school’s establishment.
With a vision of becoming one of the most advanced centers for Career Technical Education in Michigan, the CTE school aims to expand its programs continually. As the school gains momentum and interest from students, the organizers plan to seek out additional grants and funding opportunities to support future growth. The response from the community has already led to the hiring of more teachers for the upcoming school year to accommodate the growing student interest in CTE courses.
Together, Shiawassee Community Foundation, Great Lakes Family of Companies, Gabrielle Feighner Baker of Feighner Boat Lifts and Docks, and Shiawassee RESD invite all individuals and businesses to join them in this exciting endeavor. By contributing to the CTE Fund, you will play a crucial role in shaping the future of education for local students, empowering them with the skills and knowledge needed for successful careers and a thriving community.
For further information about the CTE school project or to make a donation, please visit https://www.shiacf.org/donate/ or contact Shiawassee Community Foundation at 989- 725-1093