Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to celebrate the opening of the state’s second Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy location.

On Sunday, the West Virginia National Guard’s Mountaineer ChalleNGe Academy South, located in Montgomery, officially opened for its inaugural class of 72 cadets, representing 30 counties across the state.

MCA provides educational opportunities for at-risk youth, ages 16-18, in a 22-week quasi-military residential program focused on eight core components. In addition, the Mountaineer Job ChalleNGe Program is available on the campus for cadets or recent graduates who want to earn industry-recognized certifications in fields such as manufacturing, medical technician, pre-apprenticeship, energy sector, and more.

“If you go there and you see these young men and women and you see the great work that they do, it’s phenomenal,” Gov. Justice said. “At our first location at Camp Dawson, we’ve worked with thousands of kids over the years and changed thousands of lives. During my State of the State address earlier this year, I said I wanted to replicate what’s being done in the southern part of the state.”

In January, Gov. Justice announced plans to establish a second MCA utilizing part of the former WVU Tech campus in Montgomery.

“Now, just a few months later, we’ve officially opened, all without increasing the budget a dime,” Gov. Justice said. “There’s no way in the world that I could be more proud.

“Not only will it be good for those kids, but it will be an economic boost for an area of Kanawha County that really needs that boost,” Gov. Justice continued. “Montgomery surely needs it, but all of Kanawha County needs it too.”

Click here to read more about the opening of the new MCA South location

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