Gov. Ivey announces grant to expand STEM education in Walker County

MONTGOMERY — A $1 million grant announced by Gov. Kay Ivey will help Walker County students blaze their paths to successful futures and rewarding careers.

The grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission will enable the Walker County Board of Education to construct a facility at Bankhead Middle School in Cordova that specializes in helping students in the county school system hone their skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Provide students with the right resources, give them proper direction, and they will head toward bright futures,” Gov. Ivey said. “I am pleased to support this new facility in Walker County, which will open doors for students in Alabama’s automotive and aviation fields and much more.”

The $1 million ARC grant along with $1 million in local resources will enable the Board of Education to construct the 2,500-square foot STEM building on the Bankhead Middle School campus. Additionally, plans call for a 2,275-square-foot area within the existing school to be repurposed as part of the STEM facility.

The success of a robotics program at Bankhead Middle School was a major factor leading to the expansion of the STEM program. Local leaders say that the robotics program has been instrumental in teaching students about coding, technical design and fabrication, and the robotics teams have won several competitions and become popular with students.

As part of the program, the Board of Education has created dual enrollment relationships with Wallace State and Bevill State community colleges to help students accelerate their studies.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the ARC program in Alabama.

“This program is more than a career path; it is a launchpad to success in highly skilled, high-demand fields,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “I join Gov. Ivey in commending the Walker County Board of Education for their foresight in developing this program.”

Gov. Ivey notified Dr. Dennis Willingham, superintendent of the Walker County Board of Education that the grant had been approved.

ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments. The agency’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. Thirty-seven Alabama counties, including Walker County, are part of the ARC region and eligible for funds.

ADECA manages a range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.


Media Contact:

Jim Plott or Mike Presley

ADECA Communications and External Affairs

(334) 242-5525


Posted in Newsroom.