Jefferson County JVS has earned ‘yes’ vote

If you could provide a better education in a well-maintained facility for $25 a year, would you?

Would it matter to you that a career-based education would be maintained and improved for local young people heading out into the work force in the future?

That amount is what the average Jefferson County homeowner, in a $75,000 house, would pay for the maintenance and upgrading of the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, which offers programs for students from all of the county’s high schools.

The JVS, a success story in educating students for careers from graphic arts to culinary arts to welding and mechanics, was built in 1975. It’s been well cared for by its administrators, educators and students since then, but it is nearing its 40th birthday.

As such, it needs replacement for 100,000 square feet of roof on the big single-story building. Lab equipment needs to be updated, as do the fire alarm and security systems, among other needs.

JVS last had an increase in its operating levy 19 years ago. The school’s budget is about 66 percent from the state government with a bit from the federal government. Additional local dollars are needed to carry out capital improvements.

JVS has cut costs through a reduction in the number of employees, deferred repairs, limits on supply and material purchases and a full-on suspension of the purchase of lab equipment, which should be the lifeblood of a job-training school.

The region is undergoing a resurgence in blue-collar jobs thanks to the arrival of and boom in the oil and gas industry. The JVS’ vital position in the community needs to be supported.

We urge voters to provide a “yes” vote on the JVS levy on the Nov. 5 ballot.