DOVER – In case you missed it, Senator Maggie Hassan visited Dover Regional Career Technical Center (CTC) yesterday where she spoke with teachers and students about the importance of CTE programs and toured some of the classes offered at the center, including culinary arts, cosmetology, electrical technology, animal science classes, and more. In 2014, then-Governor Hassan signed a bill to provide $13.5 million in funding for the construction of Dover Regional CTC.
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DOVER — Four years after she signed a bill as governor that provided some of the funding to either renovate or rebuild Dover High School’s Regional Career Technical Center, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan toured the new facility and was wowed in the process.
Then Gov. Hassan signed the bill from DHS’s Gourmet Table – the one at the now closed high school next door to the $87 million one that opened at the beginning of this school year. The bill helped the city secure $13.5 million for the funding of the CTC center.
The new and improved Gourmet Table was among the first stops of the tour where Hassan met with Ashley Appleton, an instructor in the two-year culinary program.
Appleton told Hassan she wanted to be an instructor in the program as a way to give back. “Somebody gave me an opportunity when I was just a kid,” Appleton told Hassan.
When she found the culinary arts program, Appleton said her whole attitude changed. She went from very low grades to A’s and B’s. The CTC program she attended in Massachusetts “made all the difference in the world for me,” Appleton said. She explained to Hassan the trade she learned allowed her to see the world and work anywhere she went.
Hassan also toured the cosmetology, electrical technology, automotive collision and repair, biomedical science, welding and animal science classes. Joining the junior New Hampshire senator was Principal Peter Driscoll, School Superintendent William Harbron, City Manager Michael Joyal, Mayor Karen Weston and Deputy Mayor Robert Carrier who also chairs the high school’s Joint Building Committee.
Through the welding lab, Hassan commented on how often she hears from business leaders on the need for more welders and how intricate skill has become over the years.
“What we try to do is to convince the students, and more importantly their family, that these are really viable careers,” Driscoll said. “Sometimes the kids will get excited and then the parents will pump the brakes on it.”
Hassan agreed. “That’s been an issue ever since we began talking about career technical education,” she said.
Hassan, a member of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, touted the recent reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act, a federal program that disperses nearly $1.3 billion in support of career and technical education programs in the country. Hassan also recently sponsored legislation titled, Invest in America Act, which she says would “create competitive grant programs to expand the workforce, modernize training tools and promote job creation,” according to a media release.