Land O’ Lakes, FL – (June 2, 2021) – As the impressive new Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation campus takes shape in East Pasco, Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative (WREC) has already made a significant donation that represents an investment in the next generation of engineers, IT professionals, electrical linemen, and entrepreneurs.

When it opens in the fall of 2022, Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation will offer cutting edge programs to provide Pasco County students with 21st-Century employability skills and entrepreneurial experiences to enhance their long-term career prospects. Programs will include digital technology, engineering, biomedical science, transportation, building technology, and more.

The $400,000 donation from WREC will go towards purchasing innovative and emerging equipment to educate the estimated 1,000 students, and to prepare them for high-salary, high-skill careers that are in demand.

“With technology rapidly changing particularly in the utility sector, WREC felt it essential to invest in an educational program that focuses on the latest in technology and innovation.” Said WREC Chief Executive Officer Billy Brown. “With this 184,000 sq ft facility opening in one of our five-county service territory, WREC will be able to train, hire, and retain the best and brightest from our own community.”

Pasco School Superintendent Kurt Browning said that having one of the largest employers in Pasco County partnering with the school district will help to ensure the success of Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation.

“We have big plans for the Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation, and it’s great to see that Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative is as excited about it as we are,” said Kurt Browning, Pasco County  Superintendent of Schools. “This generous donation will enable students to have the kinds of cutting edge, hands-on educational experiences that will be a distinguishing feature of Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation.”