History of Trumbull Career & Technical Center
The congress of the United States passed the Vocational Education Act of 1963. Its purpose was to provide an adequate vocational education opportunity for youths and adults. With the passing of this legislation into law, vocational education would become a reality in the State of Ohio.
Basic information concerning the studies of employment and the needs of the Trumbull County communities had been made by the Ohio State Employment Service, the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, student and business surveys. The results of the surveys were clear. Twelve percent of our job market requires a college education. Consequently, schools must prepare youths to enter the other 88% of the job market upon graduation from high school.
Several school districts in Trumbull County could be joined together in a joint vocational education program for area high school youth, out-of-school youth and adults. The programs to be offered at this facility were to include such areas as agriculture, business education, distributive education, home economic education, and trade and industrial education.
If this joint vocational facility was to go into operation, it had to have a sponsoring board of education. The first sponsoring board of education was Niles City Schools: it was followed by Hubbard Exempted Village School District. Each school system that wanted to belong to the joint vocational school district had to send a letter of intent to join the district. Those letters of intent were turned over to the State Board of Education. In August of 1966, the first board of education was organized for the Trumbull County Joint Vocational School District.
In 1974, the original vocational district was to dissolve. The Gordon D. James Career Center was built in Lordstown. This vocational district would include Mineral Ridge, Niles City Schools, Lordstown, McDonald, and Howland. At the same time the school districts of Hubbard, Newton Falls, Champion, Southington, Fowler-Vienna, Bloomfield-Mespo, and Farmington reorganized in the in the district of the Trumbull County Joint Vocational School.
In 1975 a multi-purpose levy was passed. The school districts of LaBrae, Bristol, Maplewood, Badger, Liberty, Girard, Lakeview, and Brookfield would join the Trumbull County Joint Vocational School District. These fifteen school districts would be under the guidance of Leo Difford, who was the Trumbull County's Director of Vocational Education in the Trumbull County Joint Vocational School District and who later became superintendent of that district.
After the levy passed, the process of the actual building of the facility began. Eighty-two acres of property on Mahoning Avenue had been selected for the site of the vocational school.
The groundbreaking of the Trumbull County Joint Vocational School occurred on April 15, 1977. There are 240,000 square feet of space in the building. There are four acres of ground under its roof, and a total of eighteen acres combining the parking lot and the building.
The total cost of this facility was 9.5 million dollars of which 4.84 million dollars came from the multi-purpose levy. Matching funds from the State of Ohio totaled 4.61 million dollars.
Of the 49 vocational districts in the State of Ohio, Trumbull County was one of the last vocational facilities to go into operation. The Trumbull County Joint Vocational School opened its doors to students on September 6, 1978; dedication ceremonies occurred on November 12, 1978. Board members at the time of the dedication included: Thomas M. Cooksey, Jr., President; Stanley Woofter, Vice President; Ronnie L. Burke; Marjorie Fenton; Beverly A. Friend; Ray L. Hicks; Albert Nye; and Beverly A. Richards, Treasurer.
Ohio is one of the few states which have a diversified and complete program in vocational education. With the completion of the Trumbull County Joint Vocational School, 97.4% of youths and adults have vocational education available to them to gain the necessary skills and technical knowledge to obtain a job or to prepare to advance to a better job.