Quality Industries computer equipment donation will help LaVergne High School students earn certifications

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From left, LaVergne High School student Dakota Deist, computer teacher Dale Hudson, computer teacher Frank Cathey, RCS Career and Technical Education Coordinator Tyra Pilgrim and Quality Industries IT systems engineer Jared Cochran stand in front of the computer and networking equipment the company recently donated to the high school. Students will use the equipment to help them earn CompTIA certifications before graduating high school.

A donation of computer and networking equipment from Quality Industries will benefit students at LaVergne High School who are working to complete IT certifications before they graduate.

Quality Industries is a metal fabrication business with locations in La Vergne, Tenn., and Denton, Texas. The company recently completed information technology upgrades at its La Vergne facility and decided to donate its used computer equipment to the school.

"The donation consists of a variety of equipment, including work stations, servers, rack systems, printers and more," explained Gary Carter, vice president for Finance and Enterprise Transformation.

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Earlier, Carter had met one of LaVergne High's IT teachers, Frank Cathey, at a school district event and was very impressed with the teacher's goal for all students in the program to earn CompTIA certification before graduating high school.

"We think it's phenomenal," Carter said. "That's one of the reasons we're donating to this program. Having a goal of having everyone certified who finishes the program, a few years ago, was unheard of."

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There are about 140 students in the IT pathway at LaVergne High School and 30 are seniors, Cathey said. He and fellow IT teacher Dale Hudson have a goal for each graduate to earn at least one IT certification before graduating.

"We've really been pushing for them to all get certified," Cathey said. "There are several industry certifications available through our program, and our goal is that every student will graduate with at least one. The CompTIA certifications open doors to entry level IT jobs starting at $12-$16 per hour. Students with a 3.0 GPA, and industry certification, graduate with distinction. And, Motlow gives our students college credit for CompTIA certifications when they transition to post-secondary education."

According to Carter, "There is a shortage of qualified people to fill many IT positions, and programs like the one at LaVergne High School are helping resolve that issue. So, we feel like we're investing in the future of IT professionals in the community.

Students in the program run "Wolverine Computer," a repair shop open to the community, which accepts financial donations for their services, Cathey said.

"The donations are used to help pay for certification exams for students who otherwise could not afford them," Cathey explained.

He plans to use the equipment donation from Quality Industries to train students on equipment they will see when they enter the IT workforce.

"With the equipment they give us, especially the networking equipment, it will help us setup a scenario rack in the classroom that students can use to prepare for competitions, and it also gives them experience for what they will do in the industry," Cathey said.

For more information about the computer repair service at LaVergne High School, visitwww.wolverinecomputer.com. Additional information about Quality Industries can be found at www.qualityindustries.com.

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computers, La Vergne High School, Quality Industries, Rutherford County Schools
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