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Kaine Makes Education Stops In Southwest Virginia

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine continued his four-day visit to Southwest Virginia with tours of Lincoln Memorial University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Mountain Empire Community College’s workforce training facilities and the construction site of Dickenson County’s new Ridgeview High School.

This morning, Kaine visited the Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine's (LMU-CVM) new DeBusk Veterinary Teaching Center (DVTC) in Ewing. The program, which welcomed its inaugural class of 96 students this month, utilizes the newest techniques in veterinary medicine and research. LMU-CVM is the 30th veterinary school in the U.S. and the first veterinary college dedicated to serving Appalachia, specifically Southwest Virginia.

“It's very impressive that LMU's inaugural veterinary school class is made up of 96 students from across the U.S. - including many from Appalachia," said Kaine. "This school will have a great impact on the future of aspiring veterinarians and the local economy in Lee County.”

Later in the morning, Kaine toured the workforce training facilities at Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap and met with faculty from the college to discuss the importance of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs for developing a talented workforce.

"I learned the value of career and technical education from working in my dad's welding shop, and I also know there are good jobs going unfilled in welding, IT industries, and certain medical professions," said Kaine. "With this significant demand for workers in technical fields, we need to do a better job of focusing on skills acquisition - not just degree acquisition - and community colleges are the perfect place to do this."

Kaine, co-chair of the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus, recently introduced the Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce Act, bipartisan legislation to raise the quality of CTE programs to better meet the needs of the 21st century job market.

Kaine made his last education stop at the construction site of the new Ridgeview High School in Clintwood. The construction is part of a new complex that will serve as a consolidated high school, middle school and career and technical education center for Dickenson County.

Later in the day, Kaine will visit Range Resources in Clintwood to learn about how the company and the region utilize natural gas fracking.