IN PICTURES: Rowanty students, teachers spend time with state education secretary during visit

By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: Mar. 21, 2018 | 12:00 p.m.

CARSON – Tuesday was a special afternoon in the community of Carson, the home of Rowanty Technical Center as the school hosted a visit from Virginia Education Secretary Atif Qarni.

Qarni visited the technical center and was taken on a tour of the facility as students worked in the school’s various labs and classrooms Tuesday afternoon guided by Rowanty Technical Center principal Cheryl Simmers. Also joining Qarni was Governor Ralph Northam’s Chief Workforce Advisor Megan Healy along with Dinwiddie Schools Superintendent Dr. Kari Weston, Dinwiddie School Board members William Haney and Mary Benjamin and Prince George County Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lisa Pennycuff.

The education secretary and chief workforce advisor’s visit to Rowanty Technical Center Tuesday served as an example of one of Governor Northam’s main priorities for the Commonwealth, developing a strong workforce and continuing to grow Virginia’s economy, building off the work from his predecessor Terry McAuliffe and his “New Virginia Economy” initiative, which focused on diversifying the state’s economy while working to increase the skills and competitiveness of Virginia’s workforce.

Tuesday’s visit also allowed Qarni and Healy to spend time with Rowanty’s teachers and students, who were on the job in the school’s various shops, including automotive, masonry, and cosmetology, among others, where he asked questions and chatted with the young men and women who will soon be part of Virginia’s workforce. The students even posed for pictures with the pair as they made their way through the center that has been in operation for over 40 years and teaches students from Dinwiddie, Prince George, and Sussex counties.

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The Prince George Journal’s cameras were along for the tour and News Editor Michael Campbell spoke with Secretary Qarni and Rowanty Technical Center principal Simmers about the importance of technical and trade centers, their role in developing a strong workforce and how the state plans to leverage resources like Rowanty Technical Center to help create the next generation of skilled men and women in Virginia’s workforce.

The full story will be in the March 28 Edition of The Prince George Journal newspaper.

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