High-tech industries in advanced manufacturing have expressed a need for individuals with skills in engineering, technology and advanced manufacturing who want specific training to (a) be eligible for hire immediately upon graduation and/or (b) choose to pursue higher education in the fields of engineering, technology or advanced manufacturing for needed jobs in the region and throughout the Commonwealth. New College Institute (NCI) has partnered with Virginia State University (VSU) to develop a program offered to high school juniors and seniors that will meet these needs: the Academy for Engineering and Technology (AET).
In the fall of 2012, the AET program welcomed Henry County and Martinsville high school students who attended classes at NCI’s campus in uptown Martinsville. In fall of 2013, students from Carlisle joined AET along with an expansion of the curriculum to a two-year program where students have the opportunity to choose between two tracks of study: engineering or technology. Through added partnerships with the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) and Danville Community College (DCC), the AET program expanded into Danville in the fall of 2014 to students from both Danville City and Pittsylvania County Schools at IALR.