The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) and the Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO TEC) selection committee announced Dr. Tammy Hurt has been hired as the GO TEC program manager effective July 1.

She will lead this GO Virginia-funded initiative to expand talent development efforts for critical career paths across GO Virginia Regions 1, 3 and 4. This area encompasses many of Virginia’s rural counties stretching from Wythe County to Greensville County.

“On behalf of IALR and the selection committee, I am pleased to welcome Dr. Tammy Hurt as the GO TEC program manager,” said Dr. Julie Brown, interim director for GO TEC and director of advanced learning at IALR. “Her K-12, STEM and CTE experience will prove invaluable as she leads the planning and execution efforts for this quickly progressing project. We look forward to collaborating with Dr. Hurt and, under her leadership, continuing to build a highly skilled workforce capable of attracting and retaining top employers to our commonwealth.”

Hurt most recently served as the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) coordinator for Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS). Previous roles include her work as a middle school principal for PECPS and as an assistant principal and CTE (Career and Technical Education) instructor with Mecklenburg County Schools. Hurt recently received her Doctorate of Education from Liberty University, where she also earned her Ed.S. in curriculum and instruction and her M.Ed. in administration and supervision. 

“I am very excited to accept the GO TEC program manager position and to work on this amazing initiative in order to further identify and build upon the skilled labor force in Southern Virginia,” said Hurt.

In March, GO TEC received the largest grant to date from the GO Virginia competitive funding pool. The GO Virginia State Board approved an investment of up to $4.9 million, which will be matched 1-to-1 by support from more than 15 local partners. The project will deliver workforce training and development through a “hub and spoke” model and will target in-demand occupations identified across Southern and Southwest Virginia. Such career paths include IT/cyber security; robotics, automation and mechatronics; precision machining; welding; and advanced materials. 

GO TEC higher education leadership partners include Southside Virginia Community College, Patrick Henry Community College, Danville Community College, New College Institute, Wytheville Community College, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center and IALR, which serves as the program administrator and fiscal agent.

This multi-phase project started with the successful launch of pilot Career Connections labs at Danville Public Schools’ Westwood Middle School and Pittsylvania County School’s Chatham Middle School for the 2018-2019 school year. Thanks to specialized equipment and software—including a welding simulator, coding software and 3D printer—middle-school students learned about career paths in an engaging, hands-on manner.

This “spoke” level training (or basic skill training) introduced the pathways at an earlier age so that the students may take advantage of expanded career and technical courses and dual-enrollment program opportunities in high school and potentially “hub” level training (or mastery level training) in higher education. The project will expand to include more middle schools as phases progress.   

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research serves Virginia as a regional catalyst for economic transformation with advanced learning, applied research, advanced manufacturing, conference center services and economic development efforts.

IALR’s major footprint focuses within Southern Virginia, including the counties of Halifax, Patrick, Henry, Franklin, Pittsylvania and Mecklenburg along with the cities of Martinsville and Danville.

For more information, visit www.ialr.org.