Investing in your Career and Technical Education center has the capability to increase interest, enrollment, and confidence
Julie Spence, AIA, Senior Associate | October 2023
As a leader of a secondary or post-secondary Career Technical Education (CTE), your first priority is to your students. Becoming a master fundraiser may not have been what you envisioned. But, the way you bring your team together to offer outstanding, highly technical education MATTERS. The endeavor to improve the spaces that your instructors and students work in will also have a lasting impact on the value of their education. Pulling together as a team and working toward this common goal can be unifying for your organization. Clearly defining your needs in the form of a project can be a powerful tool in establishing and reinforcing your external partnerships.
The best approach to gathering capital for an improvement project is to be multi-faceted. Although it can happen, very few organizations have someone come knocking on your door to hand you millions of dollars. The rest will work, one step at a time, through the multitude of forms, jumping through hoops and piece it together from multiple sources. Different projects find different opportunities. For example, a recent client, Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center, has separated contract to utilize Federal ESSR funding to replace their mechanical system for their renovation. At the same time, they’ve applied for state funding earmarked for CTE improvements, garnered donations from local businesses and rallied the community behind a bond for the remaining funds.
There are many levels of funding sources available, from Federal down to Local.
Perkins V is the most common source. All CTE centers are familiar with it. Along with this, federal money is distributed to states and each state allocates the funding differently. Many states use reverse funds to support larger capital projects
Other more specific Federal Grants and Initiatives that you can apply for. For example, Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center used ESSR funds for mechanical system designed to align with renovation.
Secondary schools may have to get their communities to support a larger capital project. Regional Centers may have to pass votes in multiple communities. The bond vote process can be challenging. Lavallee Brensinger has developed a process for getting through a successful bond vote.
Post-secondary technical centers may have capital campaigns budgets within their organization. The projected increase in interest, enrollment, and tuition revenue a new project may generate can offset initial costs.
Your advisory committee industry partners are already familiar with your school and want to help. An improvement project may be a catalyst for developing new partnerships.
Donors and Community Partners
Build relationships with community partners and communicate your needs.
Proper analysis and review of all potential solutions help you make the case to your key investors. Plans and renderings help you visualize the value of this investment. Spending the time to get accurate construction costs and soft costs builds confidence that the project can be completed.
Every school and its community is unique. Building on these distinctions is powerful. What makes you great? It is achievable.
About Julie Spence
603.622.5450 Extension 117 | julie.spence@LBPA.com
Julie’s passion and area of expertise is planning, designing, and coordinating complex career and technical education facilities. She focuses on the detailed layout, coordination, and forward-thinking efforts to help our clients plan for the future and how buildings can adapt to changes in technology and pedagogy.