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kills center opens in the fal

Thanks to a property donation from the Port of Sunnyside, a new skills center for high school students that's located on Barnard Boulevard will open for the 2007-08 school year.

According to Sunnyside School Superintendent Rick Cole, the skills center will be run by Yakima Valley Technical Skills Center Principal Craig Dwight.

Cole said, "We're on the legislative track to get (funds for) an 8,000 square foot building built. But, because of the needs of students, we couldn't wait to start the program."

Dwight said that the skills center will offer three programs: cosmetology, law enforcement and a certified nurses aide program.

For the nursing program, students will attend classes three hours a day, readying them to take their nurses aide test. They will also have an internship at either Hillcrest Manor or Sunnyside Community Hospital, he said.

The law enforcement element will tie in with Yakima Valley Community College's criminal justice program and will be like an Explorers program, Dwight said.

Students will not have to pay for either program. There are fees associated with the cosmetology program, but Dwight said that program is offered at a cost savings.

All of the classes have college credits attached to them, said Dwight.

Cole said that the skills center is not funded through district funds, it's funded by the state and will cost between $200,000 and $300,000 to operate at this time.

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