Archive for VACTE


College agrees to spend $1,000 a month for lease of east County classroom space compared to $20 million spent on constructing west side CTE facility

The East County Joint Technical Education District’s Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education (V’ACTE) held its grand opening January 23, 2018.  There was an excellent turn-out  for the celebration.  Students, faculty and residents enjoyed the event that included a series of live demonstrations by students. 

The Center, the first centralized facility developed by the east County District, offers career and technical education training in a number of areas  for high school students and adults.  These include construction, culinary, firefighting, welding, nursing assistant and others.  Click here for more information about V’ACTE courses.

Bob Weir and his staff are to be congratulated for moving ahead with the facility and initiating centralized training for east County students and residents. Weir has faced a number of hurdles including disputes over revenue sharing with high schools that he worked out.

The facility is also used by Yavapai Community College where it offers a handful of joint courses with the V’ACTE. The College has agreed to pay $1,000 a month for use of the facility.  The east County facility is, of course, in sharp contrast to the $20 million dollar centralized CTE facility the College built for west county residents at the Prescott airport.

Recall that Yavapai Community College began a CTE program in 2004 in Building “L” on the Verde Campus.  It was called the Northern Arizona Regional Skills Center and was the result of voter approval of the 2000 General Obligation Bond and a $1 million dollar grant from the federal government.  That project was shuttered when the Community College Governing Board decided to build the CTE Campus at the Prescott airport in  2006-07.  Since that time, the Verde Valley has provided millions of dollars for the west County project. However, only a  few residents and no high school students have been trained there. The College has refused to take the lead in developing CTE on the East side of the County.


However, Sedona and Verde Valley taxpayers continue to pay for centralized CTE campus on west side of County will little or no access and for the lease on this new centralized facility (a kind of unfair double taxation for a CTE building)

The good news in Sedona and the Verde Valley is the grand opening of Valley Academy for Career and Technical Education Campus on January 23.  The grand opening will be held from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the new facility that is located at 3405 East State Route 89A in Cottonwood.

The facility is possible because earlier in the year V’ACTE entered a three-year lease for the 7700-square-foot facility that was the former home to Flip City Gymnastics.  V’ACTE, led by Bob Weir with the help of students and others, has been busily remodeling the facility.

This marks the second time there has been a centralized CTE facility in the Sedona/Verde Valley area.  In 2004 Yavapai Community College opened the Northern Arizona Regional Skills program on the Verde Campus in Clarkdale with great fanfare.  This CTE program, which was financed in part by a large grant from the federal government, was closed when Yavapai College decided to build a Career and Technology Education Center (CTEC) at the Prescott airport. 

Since the CTE program was shuttered on the Verde Campus, CTE training on this side of the Mountain has done the best it could with limited funds and without a centralized facility.  Meanwhile, the College invested about $19 to 20 million into the Prescott facility with a substantial amount of revenue coming from Sedona/Verde Valley taxpayers.  Unfortunately, CTEC in Prescott cannot be accessed by east County high school students; only west County students.  Furthermore, because of the distance that must be traveled and the absence of inter-campus or public bus transportation, it is challenging for others living on the east side of the County to arrange schedules so they can attend classes at CTEC.

The Chair of the Community College Governing Board has suggested that he is ready to urge approval of millions of dollars for a new Community College CTEC on the east side of the County.  However, he also suggests he is waiting for plans to be submitted by the east side for such a facility before any action can take place.

While those plans are hopefully being drawn, CTE on the east side of the County will begin program development at the new leased centralized facility in Cottonwood.

The Verde Independent has reported that VACTE will also continue to offer satellite courses at Mingus Union High School, Camp Verde High School, and Sedona-Red Rock High School.  At Mingus it is intending to offer engineering, agriculture science, automotive technology, welding, film and TV, architectural design/drafting, business office management, sports medicine and theater tech. At Camp Verde High School, it intends to offer graphic and web design, agri-business, auto tech, culinary arts, cabinet making, audio-music recording and sports medicine. At Sedona-Red Rock High School it is hoping to offer digital communication, digital photography, film and TV and theater tech. Sedona also will add a sports medicine program next year

VACTE Superintendent Bob Weir told the Verde Independent in June that there is a possibility that V’ACTE will offer theater tech and business office management next year.  For more information about VACTE and the June 29 story written by Dan Engler in the Verde Independent, please click here.


McCarver says Community College educational facilities and opportunities will “never be equal on the west and east sides of the County;” McCasland fights for Verde; Harris mum

Second District Representative Deb McCasland raised the question of adequate access to Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities and the absence of CTE facilities in the Verde Valley at the October 24 District Governing Board meeting in Prescott.  West County Representative Chair Ray Sigafoos said that he was prepared to support a $5 million-dollar 30,000 square foot or 40,000 square foot facility on the East side if a proposal came over the mountain to him and the Board.

Sigafoos conceded that the College does not “have an adequate single JTED facility in the Verde Valley.”  However, he blamed the former Verde Valley JTED for not providing the Board with that opportunity.  He said that there has not been a “stable [CTE] organization in the Verde Valley” or a building the College could afford until the last year or so. He claimed that he had not “ignored” the Verde Valley.

West County Representative Pat McCarver seemed somewhat less enthusiastic about CTE on the East side of the County than Sigafoos.  She blamed the prior JTED Administration for the current situation saying it was not possible until now to consider building a centralized CTE facility on the East side of the County.  She also stated that from her perspective that educational facilities and opportunities will “never be equal” on both sides of the County.

Representative McCasland continued her consistent theme of supporting the development of adequate Career and Technical Education facilities and opportunities on the East side of the County.  Representative Connie Harris and West County representative Steve Irwin made no comment.

Sigafoos noted that the Board will begin discussing capital projects in January 2018. 

The discussion covered about three minutes and is provided in the following video in its entirety.

VACTE Sets up Film program paying Yavapai College full tuition

A possible first step in developing a relationship with College

VACTE Superintendent Bob Weir has set up a Media arts program at Yavapai College for VACTE high school students in the Verde Valley. (VACTE promotes Career and Technical Education training in its district that covers the entire Verde Valley including Sedona.  It is supported by County property taxes.)  

The film program is taught by Yavapai faculty and is held at the Verde Campus.  Students will be bused to the College for the program (at least from Camp Verde so far).  The College charges VACTE full tuition for each student. 

video clip art 1THE DIFFERENCE:  Unlike many programs on the West side of the County, adults in the Verde Valley may not take the media arts training simultaneously with the high school students.  Technically and importantly, only if Yavapai Community College offered the program could high school students and adults be trained simultaneously.  At CTEC on the West side of the County, many programs are offered by Yavapai Community College and they may then be taken by adults and high school students simultaneously.

Some see the new VACTE superintendent Bob Wier’s decision to develop this program as a good first baby-step in creating a relationship with the College.  Let’s give him all the support we can. Let’s also hope that the non-cooperative attitude toward VACTE exhibited by College President Penelope Wills before the Clarkdale Town Council in April, 2016, can be changed.

For the perspective of the editorial staff of the Verde Independent on this film project, please click here.


VACTE to pay college tution for students in program

The just hired Valley Academy Career and Technical Educational (VACTE) superintendent, Bob Weir, has launched a new Career and Technical Education program for high school students to be taught on the Verde Campus. It is described as a “Film and Media Arts program.”  Students will be bused from Camp Verde High School to the Verde Campus to attend the program.

VACTE 1According to Weir, “Students who start the program in their junior year have the chance to graduate high school with their FMA Production certificate become AVID-certified and be well on their way to obtaining their animation certificates in the program,”

The College benefits from this type of program because VACTE pays full College tuition for each student in the program. The College can also count the students as enrolled, which will help stop the enrollment slide it is experiencing.

It is unclear whether adults wanting to enroll in the program will be allowed to do so.  The newspaper announcement of the program in the Verde Independent indicated it was only open to high school students.  Programs similar to this on the West side of the County mingle adults and high school juniors and senior.  The mingling is cost-effective and makes the program sustainable.  However, the program must be offered by the College before “mingling” can occur and it may be that the College is not willing to offer the program.

You may read the article in the Verde Independent written by Bill Helm by clicking here.