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Southwest Ag donates $25K to Bayfield High School’s CTE programs

Funding to help ensure students can pursue specialized job trades
Bayfield High School received a $25,000 grant from Southwest Ag to bolster the high School’s Career and Technical Education programs. (Matt Hollinshead/Durango Herald file)

Bayfield High School’s Career and Technical Education programs received a sizable monetary donation from an area employer to help ensure students can keep pursuing specialized job trades.

The Southwest Ag tractor dealer in the town’s Gem Village neighborhood donated $25,000 to the Bayfield School District last month to bolster the high school’s CTE opportunities, according to a news release on the district’s website.

“The world has kind of changed the last couple of decades, and I really feel like those types of programs and career paths are a significant area of opportunity for a lot of kids,” said Southwest Ag co-owner Garry Hillyer in the news release. “There are so many kids out there anymore that aren’t going to get much of a return on their money from a traditional four-year college education.”

District Superintendent Leon Hanhardt started as a CTE teacher and is familiar with the pluses of students going that route after graduating high school, the release said.

“This is an incredibly generous gift to our school and students, and we are really grateful to the Hillyer family and the team at Southwest Ag for this sizable donation,” Hanhardt said. “These programs are more important than ever before, and gifts like these help ensure our students have a variety of options after graduation.”

CTE programs can help open doors for students to gain work experience through internships, job shadowing, on-the-job training and industry-certification opportunities, the release said. They provide an array of learning experiences that cover different career paths – from automotive technology and construction to electrical contracting, agriculture and robotics, among other professions.

Hanhardt and the team at Bayfield High School are already working out how to make the most of the gift the school received from Southwest Ag, the release said.


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