'Yearling U' paves new paths to IT, business careers for Whitehall high schoolers

KEVIN CORVO
kcorvo@thisweeknews.com
Whitehall-Yearling High School principal Bill Warfield (left) and school board member Leo Knoblauch chat in the school's new Yearling U wing, designed to help students who want careers in business and information technology.

When Whitehall-Yearling High School students resume in-person learning Monday, Sept. 21, they will find new a new wing in the building that is designed to aid them in pursuing business and information-technology careers.

Dubbed Yearling U, the new section of the school, 675 S. Yearling Road, is meant to "open up additional programs and options to our students" going after IT and business jobs, said Chris Hardy, director of accountability and instruction at Whitehall City Schools.

The district is partnering with Columbus State Community College for a business pathway and an IT pathway at Whitehall-Yearling, Hardy said.

The school's business pathway has existed for several years, but the IT pathway, expected to be in place early next year, is a new endeavor, Hardy said.

Students will find the business pathway more robust this year because of the new equipment and classrooms at the school, Hardy said.

"We have much more flexible space now for students to earn industry-recognized credentials while at Whitehall-Yearling," he said.

New equipment at the school includes a laser-etching machine, a vinyl cutter, 3D printers and a machine to make T-shirts that will be sold at the school store, Hardy said.

Classes at Yearling U are evolving, but they will include courses on the principles of business, retail and customer service, sales and 21st-century business skills, Hardy said.

The new wing is funded in part by an Expanding Opportunities grant from the Ohio Department of Education.

The entire project is estimated to cost about $1.35 million, including construction and equipping, said John Walsh, treasurer of Whitehall City Schools.

About $800,000 of the project's cost is funded with a bond issue and permanent-improvements levy voters approved in 2018; the remainder comes from the ODE grant, Walsh said.

On Sept. 10, Whitehall school board members toured the new wing, a former band and choir practice area on the school's south side, adjacent to the Walter Armes Learning Center.

"Yearling U has awesome classrooms," said board President Mike Adkins. "We can't wait to get the kids in there and see what all they can do.

"It should give them a lot of opportunities before graduation and going off to college, as well as the opportunity to explore and figure out what they want to do beyond college."

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo