Technical Academy gets $60k in donations from local businesses

WESTFIELD – At Monday’s meeting, the School Committee voted to accept gifts valued at over $60,000 to the Westfield Technical Academy.
Among the gifts were various test sets for the Aviation Department donated by Gulfstream Aerospace in Westfield, valued at over $35,000. Cigna Corporation of Windsor Locks, CT also donated a tail stand and compressor to the Aviation Department, valued at $3,500.
Industrial Precision in Westfield donated various sized stock metal to the Manufacturing Department, valued at $15,000.
Two cars were donated by private citizens to the Auto Technology Department and the Auto Collision Department, valued at $500 each.
Also receiving donations at WTA were the Electric Wiring Department, the GSA Club and the “You Lead” Club.
Paper Mill Elementary was also on the receiving end of a generous gift of $10,000 from the Parent Teacher Advisory Committee for Smart Boards.
South Middle School has also received a grant for $1,000 t
After the vote, School Committee Vice Chair Ramon Diaz thanked the public for their generous donations and support of the schools.
Following the meeting, Stefan Czaporowski, Principal of Westfield Technical Academy, said that the gifts came in over the summer months. He said although the value of the gifts is higher than normal, a lot of people donate to the school, including former graduates that have gone on and are successful.
He said one example is the donation of cars. These cars are used as mock cars for freshmen in the auto tech or auto collision shops to practice on during training, rather than using customers’ cars.
Czaporowski said that Gulfstream Aerospace has been very supportive already; having last year awarded the school a gift of $50,000 per year for four years for the aerospace program. He said their general manager and human resource director are both on the school’s advisory board. He said this donation of test sets, and other similar donations often come when industries replace their instruments.
Czaporowski said the aerospace program is off the ground, with a lot more to do. Right now, freshmen are going through exploratory where they spend one day in every shop, then a week in four of their top six picks. He said, “Most of the time, the kids end up with their top shop.” He fully expects a full class of sixteen to choose the aerospace program.

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