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In the fall of 2017, New Hanover County Schools opened Southeast Area Technical High School (SEA-Tech), located on the North campus of Cape Fear Community College (CFCC), as a choice-based cooperative innovative high school available to students in the Wilmington Metro region of North Carolina.

In partnership with CFCC, SEA-Tech utilizes the cooperative innovative high school model to provide an early college experience to empower students to be college- and career-ready with options to enter the workforce at an advanced level or continue into a postsecondary training institution. Students at the school can earn a traditional high school diploma while having no-cost access to career-based credentials and certifications offered by CFCC.

The master plan for the facility includes spaces to further support many programs on-site, including:

(1) A culinary arts classroom to allow students to apprentice from a trained chef.
(2) A carpentry shop to allow students to develop hands-on skills for a career in residential construction.
(3) A makerspace to allow students to develop other hands-on skills such as 3D printing, soldering, and sewing.
(4) Public safety spaces to afford students the environment to learn emergency management training skills from trained emergency professionals.
(5) Computer labs to train students in health-science medical coding, hospitality and tourism, and sports management.
(6) A coffee bar to allow students to develop skills in entrepreneurship, by fostering planning and financial management, and implementing both production- and service-oriented skills.
(7) A career center with on-site counselors to help guide students with their path to real-world employment.

In addition to offering on-site academies for their curriculum, the on-site spaces are designed to further foster career development. Operable walls and mobile furniture will allow maximum flexibility. Interactive state-of-the-art flat panel display screens will bring technology to the forefront of learning in each core class.

The SEA-Tech campus has moved to a New Hanover County Schools–owned location (formerly the Rock Church) located one-half mile from the CFCC campus. This morning, I had an opportunity to tour the renovated building, which is still a work in progress. Classes will start tomorrow, and I cannot tell you how impressed I am with this facility and what it will mean to the students that will attend.

At the request of the local Board of Education, I have pursued state funding to assist SEA-Tech in expanding and growing in order to serve the employment needs of the surrounding region. With the assistance of House Speaker Tim Moore, I was able to obtain an appropriation of $3.15 million in the proposed budget to help with the SEA-Tech expansion. I support the SEA-Tech project because its innovative curriculum, in partnership with CFCC, will support the growth and development of the Cape Fear region.

Paid for By Davis for NC House
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