State eyes old WCVC for tech center

Other officials have said they support opening a technology center here.

Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead said he is in favor of the center. He said it will provide the necessary training for certainjob opportunitiesto keep young people and others working here in Wilson County without having to leave the county for employment.

This is desperately needed to help us in Wilson County continue to be competitivewith respect to attracting new industry and new jobs," Craighead noted.

"I think it's a real opportunity for Wilson County," said District 17 County Commissioner Gary Keith, referring to the proposed technology center. He added that several counties across the state are aggressivelytrying toattract this same commitment from the state and "we are fortunate to have been selected for the school here in Wilson County.

I am in full support ofthe proposal and believe the school board will be also after just a couple of what I would call small details are worked out," Keith said.

County Mayor Randall Hutto is in favor of the proposal. "It's very important for Wilson County as a whole. The technology center will provide an opportunity for us to address the needs of area businesses and industries" in the area ofhelping to develop anappropriately trained workforce.

"It's a win-win" for education in Wilson County, Hutto said, explaining that the center would serve an important role in providing training and teaching of certain skills and vocations for many who do not attend college but are eager to earn a substantial living and be accountable and productive citizens.

Wilson County School Board member Greg Lasater said he is in favor of the technology center because "most kids graduating from high school are not going to college and they need to be afforded a way to learn a skill or a trade that will provide for them a decent living. This, I believe, is an important benefit for the whole county. It will serve local business and industry andalso be an assetin help us recruit new industry."

He indicated that the MAP Academy had requested a need for the same space that is to be used by the technology center and said that there is "no question" that the MAP academy needs more space but that he thinks perhaps the old LHS might be a placethat could beused by the MAP Academy.

In an article published in The Wilson Post in June 2012, board Chairman Don Weathers and member Ron Britt said they supported turning the old vocational building into a technology center.

Britt in the article called it a win-win for county schools, local residents and the state and noted he supported it because we have a significant number of high school graduates who dont plan to go to a four-year college, and it could serve as a place where they would receive specialized training and education to help them in finding a job.

Weathers said he thought it would be a really good thing for the community.

In that article, G.C. Hixson, executive director of the Joint Economic & Community Development Board of Wilson County, said in a letter to Hutto that the technology center would offer one of the greatest long term benefits for both the citizens and existing industry base in Wilson County.

TBR oversees 46 colleges and universities in the state everything except the University of Tennessee and its campuses.

The main concern expressed in the June 2012 article involved having students at the technology center at the same time as adults who were taking classes and training.

The school board meets at the Central Office, 351 Stumpy Lane, Lebanon.