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Vo-tech gets health-centered funding

BUTLER TWP — The Butler County Area Vocational-Technical School is getting a federal grant for more than $218,000 to help improve public health at the school.

Regina Hiler, vo-tech executive director, said at a meeting of the Joint Operating Committee on Thursday that the grant is from the U.S. Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The purpose of this grant, it will recruit health office staff, provide public health training and also to purchase equipment and supplies necessary to support the expanded workforce,” Hiler said. “It all has to be related to behavioral health, mental health, physical health — that’s what the whole grant is for.”

The money is being allocated to vo-tech through the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, which was authorized by the federal government in 1984.

In addition to funding the creation of a public health workforce officer position at the school, the money will be used to pay for an evacuation chair, which is a mobile chair meant for individuals with limited mobility to use in emergency situations; supplies for the health office; and training for the staff members who will use the equipment.

The money must be spent by June 30, 2024, according to Hiler.

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