BVT Draws Scaled-Down Debt-Free Plan for New Program
Millville Selectmen Chair Roland P. Barrett, Selectmen Vice Chair Joseph G. Rapoza, Finance Comm. Chair Richard Crivello, Selectman John Laura, and Finance Comm member Brooks Herrick help out with the painting.
After a modest bond proposal to establish Engineering Technology and two other in-demand programs did not advance at town meetings this spring, Valley Tech acknowledged the local hesitancy to accept new debt and returned to the drafting table to design plans for a scaled down program expansion.
“Much like an engineer whose budget requires the construction of a new home one room at a time, Valley Tech must resourcefully complete its program expansion in phases,” explained Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick.
Although lacking a standalone program, the principles of Engineering Technology were integrated in recent years with the curriculum of BVT’s Manufacturing, Electronics, and Drafting programs. During his recent tour of those programs, State Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki praised the school’s success in meeting the needs of the modern workforce and stated that he would “absolutely” support Valley Tech’s efforts to gradually expand.
“It was wonderful to see Secretary Bialecki come out and support our efforts to further develop the workforce by expanding opportunities in Engineering Technology,” said BVT School Committee Chairman Joseph M. Hall of Bellingham.
On the heels of Secretary Bialecki’s endorsement, momentum was further spurred by a spirited show of support from the Millville finance committee and board of selectmen. Officials in Millville have long encouraged Valley Tech to pursue a program in Engineering Technology, which is now offered in neighboring vocational technical systems and attracts students from Millville, resulting in tuition and travel expenses.
“We’re looking for ways to reduce costs without limiting the opportunities available to our students,” explained Millville Finance Committee Chairman Richard Crivello.
Millville Board of Selectmen Chairman Roland P. Barrett, Vice Chairman Joseph G. Rapoza, and Selectman John Laura recently joined Crivello and Finance Committee member Brooks Herrick in a tour of the space intended to host the new program. While the renovation of an existing room prohibited a ground-breaking ceremony, the Millville officials put their mark on the project by picking up rollers and painting an entire wall of the future Engineering Technology laboratory.
“I love the way BVT comes to Millville and every other town with all the facts and figures whenever they have a project in mind,” Crivello said. “This was an opportunity for us to come to Valley Tech, see what’s happening, and show our support for what’s happening.”
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (www.valleytech.k12.ma.us) serves the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton and Uxbridge.