EPB asked to help fund new Tyner institute

The EPB offices on M.L. King Boulevard. (Contributed photo)

EPB may help establish a Future Ready Institute of Technology and Networking at Tyner Academy.

The Hamilton County school system, which is planning to open 20 of the institutes as small learning communities at 13 high school campuses this fall, is asking the city-owned utility to provide $250,000 over the next four years to pay for the Tyner institute. EPB would help pay for technology, teacher training and student assistance to offer curriculum and hands-on training in information technology and networking at Tyner.

Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Bryan Johnson said business support and partnership is key to help support such programs and to ensure the schools are training for relevant jobs for the future. Johnson said when students see how what they are learning is connected to real-life jobs and commerce they are more likely to be interested and engaged.

"As educators, we need the input and support of businesses like yours," Johnson told the EPB board today.

EPB directors, who are scheduled to vote on the utility's budget for fiscal 2017-2018 next month, will decide upon the school request at their next meeting as part of the budget plan for next year. Under the proposal, EPB would provide $62,500 a year, plus potentially offer mentors, internships and site visits for students in the program. In exchange, EPB would likely gain a better pipeline of future talent for its future employment needs.

Because 91 percent of the students at Tyner are economically disadvantaged, the school system is asking EPB for $30,000 over the next five years to fund the EPB Promise to pay for materials, courses and other expenses that student participants might incur for course material or college credit opportunities.