Smithfield Foods, Inc., Smithfield, Va.; Isle of Wight County Schools, Smithfield, Va.; and Isle of Wight County unveiled a new career building program at Smithfield High School, consisting of classroom space and resources for five career and technology programs, including manufacturing, engineering, welding, nursing and the culinary arts.
The newly renovated space, consisting of more than 21,000 square feet, is made possible through the Smithfield Foods Legacy Project, a $3 million donation to Isle of Wight County Schools to fund innovative and multifaceted education programs, benefiting both Smithfield High School and Windsor High School.
The state-of-the-art facility includes designed industry spaces for the following programs:
Manufacturing. The state-of-the-art MakerSpace classroom provides spacious worktables and access to 3D printers, vinyl and laser cutters and traditional wood-working tools, as they take ideas from concept to prototype to finished product.
Engineering. The new Mechatronics laboratory offers space for students to engage in the engineering design process and project building.
Welding. The new welding classroom features 20 welding stations that utilize industry-standard equipment to certify students based on the American Welding Society Requirement in arc welding and cutting processes.
Culinary Arts. The space is outfitted with a commercialized kitchen with cutting-edge ovens, stove tops, mixers and food prep area to provide a progressive culinary education, and includes a fully functioning restaurant run by students that will be open to the community.
Nursing. This 7-bed area is outfitted with equipment to allow students to simulate patient care and prepare for the Nurse Aid certification exam.
“Founded more than 80 years ago in Smithfield, Va., our company has grown, but has always maintained its constant support and investment in our local community,” says Kenneth Sullivan, president and CEO for Smithfield Foods. “The Smithfield Foods Legacy project is one of the ways we are committed to helping students prepare for their future and make that next step after graduation a successful transition.”