N.C. announces IT grants for schools

N.C. Gov. Jim Hunt has pledged $500,000 in grants to help schools prepare

students for information technology careers.

The School Networking Grants will provide one-time money to school systems

interested in including networking programs as a part of their curriculum.

The money will be used to buy hardware for the program.

School systems will be eligible for up to $10,000 in matching grants per

school, with priority given to schools in poorer counties. Schools have

the freedom to choose their own networking program but must provide ongoing

funding after the initial grant.

"If we are going to continue to do everything we can to prepare our students

for the current job market, we have to provide them with the technology

training they need to compete in the 21st century," Hunt said in a statement.

By 2006, the Labor Department estimates that almost half the nation's work

force will be employed by industries needing IT skills.

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